Dems file bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol

Dems file bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol
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Congressional Democrats filed legislation on Thursday to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol in the wake of violence around a white supremacist rally in Virginia last month.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors MORE (D-N.J.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced the proposal in the House and Senate. Democratic Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats Green New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing We can have a Green New Deal, and air travel too MORE (Mass.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Dem lawmaker: 'Trump's presidency is the real national emergency' Dems introduce bill to take gender-specific terms out of tax code to make it LGBT-inclusive MORE (Ore.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' MORE (Calif.) as well as 46 House members are supporting the legislation.

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"Those who committed treason against the United States of America and led our nation into its most painful and bloody war are not patriots and should not be afforded such a rare honor in this sacred space," Booker said.

Lee added that "Confederate statues and monuments pay tribute to white supremacy and slavery in public spaces."

The legislation would remove the roughly 12 Confederate statues currently included in the National Statuary Hall Collection within 120 days.

Currently only states have the power to replace statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection, with each state allowed two statues in the collection.

Under the Democratic proposal, states would be able to reclaim their statues. Any statues that are not reclaimed would be given to the Smithsonian.

Debate over what to do with Confederate statues was reignited last month after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

The rally began as a protest against the Charlottesville City Council’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

But since the rally turned violent and led to the death of a counterprotester, other localities have moved to take down Confederate statues, with some lawmakers arguing that the Capitol should consider following suit.

The Democrats' legislation likely faces an uphill battle to becoming law. A spokesman for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration MORE (R-Wis.) said last month that whether or not to remove the statues was "decisions for those states to make."