Reparations bill gains traction in the House

Reparations bill gains traction in the House
© Greg Nash

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeBest shot at narrowing racial homeownership gap at risk, progressives say Youth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Gears begin to shift in Congress on stalled Biden agenda MORE’s (D-Texas) bill that would form a commission to study whether black Americans should receive reparations for slavery is gaining traction among top Democrats, with the legislation reaching 90 co-sponsors by the end of June. 

More than two dozen Democratic lawmakers — including notable members such as House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottWatchdog: 7 members of Congress allegedly failed to disclose stock trades Pressure builds on Democratic leadership over HBCU funding Democrats hit crunch time for passing Biden agenda MORE (Va.), 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation GOP lawmaker says he did not threaten US Embassy staff in Tajikistan House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (Mass.), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Harris's delayed trip to Vietnam ratchets up Havana Syndrome fears Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit MORE and House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman David CicillineDavid CicillineSenators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products Democrats seek to cool simmering tensions Hillicon Valley —Apple is not a monopoly, judge rules MORE (R.I.) — have signed on to the bill since the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing in mid-June on the issue and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Feehery: Build back bipartisan Bottom line MORE (D-Md.) announced he intends to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. 

"I am proud to sign on to this bill and join Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee," Castro said in a statement to The Hill. 

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Moulton said he believes it’s critical for Congress to have an open debate on the issue. 

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) "always said that reparations are about repair," Moulton said during an appearance on New York radio show "The Breakfast Club." "It’s not necessarily just writing a check. It’s about investing — investing in the places where black people have been historically left behind."

Jackson Lee reintroduced the legislation at the start of the 116th Congress, making the argument that "the call for reparations represents a commitment to entering a constructive dialogue on the role of slavery and racism in shaping present-day conditions in our community and American society."

While the bill has gained momentum in the Democratic-controlled lower chamber, it faces an unlikely path in the Republican-controlled Senate. 

"I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters last month. "We've tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president."