14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday

More than a dozen House Republicans voted against legislation on Wednesday to make Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in America, a federal holiday.

The House still passed the bill overwhelmingly by a vote of 415-14, a day after the Senate approved it by unanimous consent.

The bill now heads to President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden's defense budget | House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US | Pentagon confirms 7 Colombians arrested in Haiti leader's killing had US training On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE for his signature ahead of June 19, the day in 1865 when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army informed the remaining enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, that they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation issued more than two years earlier. 


The 14 Republicans who voted against the bill were Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksEx-Sen. Jones rips Mo Brooks over 'irony' remark on Texas Democrats getting COVID-19 Justice in legal knot in Mo Brooks, Trump case Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up MORE (Ala.), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarOvernight Health Care: CDC director warns of 'pandemic of the unvaccinated' | Biden says social media platforms 'killing people' | Florida accounts for 20 percent of new cases Hillicon Valley: Biden: Social media platforms 'killing people' | Tech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push | Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' MORE (Ariz.), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaEquilibrium/ Sustainability — The gentler side of Shark Week How the Biden administration can help prevent wildfires 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday MORE (Calif.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieEthics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers House Ethics panel upholds 0 mask fines against GOP lawmakers California Democrats clash over tech antitrust fight MORE (Ky.), Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockHillicon Valley: House advances six bills targeting Big Tech after overnight slugfest | Google to delay cookie phase out until 2023 | Appeals court rules against Baltimore Police Department aerial surveillance program California Democrats clash over tech antitrust fight Tech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup MORE (Calif.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanEthics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers GOP lawmakers press airlines on flight cancellations 'I want to cry': House Republicans take emotional trip to the border MORE (S.C.), Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersOvernight Defense: Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld dies at 88 | Trump calls on Milley to resign | House subpanel advances Pentagon spending bill Pentagon punches back against GOP culture wars Defense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors MORE (Ala.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyJuan Williams: Republicans prefer Trump's fantasies over truth and facts The Hill's Morning Report - Biden renews families plan pitch; Senate prepares to bring infrastructure package to floor House Republican says colleagues' 'job' is to slow Democratic priorities MORE (Texas) and Tom Tiffany (Wis.).

Multiple House Republicans objected to officially calling the holiday "Juneteenth National Independence Day" out of concerns it could be confused with Independence Day on July 4.

“I fully support creating a day to celebrate the abolition of slavery,” Massie said during House floor debate. “However, naming this day National Independence Day will create confusion and push Americans to pick one of those two days as their Independence Day based on their racial identity.”

Massie suggested that the Juneteenth holiday could be named “Emancipation Day” instead.

Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceBlack caucus chair arrested at Capitol during voting rights protest Supreme Court deals blow to Black Caucus voting rights efforts Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes MORE (D-Mich.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, responded moments later that Massie’s argument was “inappropriate.”


“I want my colleague on the other side — and I want to say, my white colleague on the other side — getting your independence from being enslaved in a country is different from a country getting independence to rule themselves. It is not a day that you can loop together. That is inappropriate,” Lawrence said.

Another Republican invoked the culture wars over teaching American children in schools about the nation’s history of systemic racism for opposing the establishment of Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

“Let’s call an ace an ace. This is an effort by the left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make 'critical race theory' the reigning ideology of our country. Since I believe in treating everyone equally, regardless of race, and that we should be focused on what unites us rather than our differences, I will vote 'no,' ” Rosendale said ahead of the vote. 

The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday under a unanimous consent agreement hours after Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRon Johnson: 'I may not be the best candidate' for 2022 midterms Milwaukee alderwoman launches Senate bid Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes enters Senate race MORE (R-Wis.) announced that he would not object to its passage.

“Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate. While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter. Therefore, I do not intend to object,” Johnson said in a statement.

Wednesday’s vote to make Juneteenth a federal holiday came a day after the House passed a bipartisan bill to award Congressional Gold Medals to police officers who helped defend the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

A total of 21 Republicans voted against that bill, citing objections to its description of calling the mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE’s supporters that stormed the Capitol “insurrectionists” and calling it "an attempt to rewrite history and further a Democrat narrative."