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House Democrat introduces bill to replace Confederate monuments nationwide

House Democrat introduces bill to replace Confederate monuments nationwide
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Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushHillicon Valley: Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading 'falsehoods' House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks Congress should investigate OAS actions in Bolivia MORE (D-Ill.) on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would create a National Park Service program to speed the removal of Confederate monuments across the country.

Rush's bill would establish a grant program called the Emancipation Historic Preservation Program to take down Confederate symbols and replace them with new structures, including commemorations that honor the emancipation of enslaved Black people. 

“It is past time that we eradicate these totems of treason and replace them with symbols that represent the true promise of America, such as the emancipation of Black Americans," Rush said in a statement.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center estimated in a report last month that there are nearly 1,800 Confederate symbols on public land, including monuments and various forms of government property named after Confederate officials.

A number of states and localities have removed Confederate monuments from public spaces this summer since the May death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a white police officer pinned him down with a chokehold.  

The nationwide protests over racial justice in the aftermath of Floyd's death led the House to pass legislation last month that would remove Confederate statues and depictions of other people who worked to defend slavery from the Capitol complex.

But the GOP-controlled Senate has not shown any inclination to take up the House bill, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a Senate vote | Pelosi, Mnuchin see progress, but no breakthrough | Trump, House lawyers return to court in fight over financial records Progress, but no breakthrough, on coronavirus relief LGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress MORE (R-Ky.) has indicated he thinks it should be up to states to decide whether they want to replace Confederate statues they provided to the Capitol.

Many of the statues targeted by the House bill are part of the National Statuary Hall Collection, to which each state provides two statues and retains the authority to decide whether to keep them there.

Some Southern states are taking steps on their own to replace the Confederate statues on display in the Capitol, including Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Florida.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a Senate vote | Pelosi, Mnuchin see progress, but no breakthrough | Trump, House lawyers return to court in fight over financial records Progress, but no breakthrough, on coronavirus relief McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a vote in Senate MORE (D-Calif.) also ordered the removal of four portraits displayed outside the House chamber of former Speakers who served the Confederacy.