Reparations bill gains traction in the House

Reparations bill gains traction in the House
© Greg Nash

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeJudiciary chair demands Hope Hicks clarify closed-door testimony Houston pastor will offer sanctuary to immigrants willing to be US citizens Court filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments 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 ScottHouse approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour Anyone for tennis? Washington Kastles Charity Classic returns this week Liberal Democrats warn: We'll sink minimum wage bill if moderates change it MORE (Va.), 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonStanley McChrystal endorses Moulton for president 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally 2020 Democratic candidates rip Trump remarks at campaign rally MORE (Mass.), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Cummings: Treatment of young migrants is 'government-sponsored child abuse' MORE and House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineDemocratic lawmaker calls asylum, refugee programs 'crown jewel' of immigration system House Democrat: Mueller testimony will help people 'understand the gravity' of Trump's conduct Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain 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 HoyerThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale 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. 

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 McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants 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."