GOP senators dismiss Booker reparations proposal

GOP senators, including members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have little interest in Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced Press: Democrats form circular firing squad MORE’s (D-N.J.) proposal to study awarding reparations to descendants of slaves, they tell HuffPost in an article published Thursday.

“I think it’s too remote in time. I think it’s too divisive,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters this week. The panel would be tasked with marking up the bill, which Booker introduced earlier this week.

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“I don’t think anybody ― black or white, man or woman, whatever your nationality ― is responsible for what somebody else did, somebody else, black or white, did 150 years ago,” Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.), who also sits on the panel, reportedly said Wednesday.

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats frustrated by Hope Hicks's silence Only black GOP senator Tim Scott calls reparations a 'non-starter' On The Money: Trump weighs emergency declaration for Mexico tariffs | GOP senators look to rein in Trump on trade | Powell says Fed may cut rates if trade war hurts economy MORE (R-S.C.), the first Southern African-American senator elected since Reconstruction, also said he didn’t support the idea, citing comments by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the top-ranking African-American in Congress, who told the Charleston Post & Courier, “I think pure reparations would be impossible to implement.”

“Essentially a conversation about reparations is just something that’s not even a realistic possibility, so it’s something I don’t think we spend any time conversing on,” Scott told HuffPost. Scott has occasionally defied his Republican colleagues on racial issues, opposing the nomination of judicial nominee Thomas Farr earlier this year over concerns about his positions on voting rights.

Booker, a 2020 presidential candidate, introduced legislation in the Senate Tuesday that mirrors a bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Hicks repeatedly blocked by White House from answering Judiciary questions Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony MORE (D-Texas). The measure would form a commission to analyze the "impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans" and make recommendations on potential reparations proposals.

Fellow presidential candidates Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (D-Calif.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (I-Vt.) have both stated they would sign a bill establishing a reparations study commission as president.