GOP senators dismiss Booker reparations proposal

Greg Nash

GOP senators, including members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have little interest in Sen. Cory Booker’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.

{mosads}“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 Kennedy (R-La.), who also sits on the panel, reportedly said Wednesday.

Sen. Tim Scott (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 Lee (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 Harris (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have both stated they would sign a bill establishing a reparations study commission as president.

Tags Bernie Sanders Cory Booker John Kennedy Reparations Sheila Jackson Lee Tim Scott

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