Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre

Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders, Biden campaigns ramp up attacks over Social Security Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti: NYT dual endorsement could hurt Warren, Klobuchar Hillary Clinton responds to backlash: 'I will do whatever I can to support our nominee' MORE (D-Mass.) announced legislation Wednesday that would revoke 20 Medals of Honor that were awarded to soldiers who participated in the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre.

Warren and Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyEnvironmentalists, Oregon senators oppose DOT increasing transport of natural gas by rail Senate Democrat says he is concerned intelligence community is 'bending' Soleimani presentations Democrats conflicted over how to limit Trump's war powers MORE (D-Ore.) said they will introduce the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act. Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRep. Bobby Rush endorses Bloomberg's White House bid Actor Michael Douglas endorses Bloomberg for president Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover-up,' 'national disgrace' MORE (D-Calif.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Mnuchin warns UK, Italy of tariffs if digital tax plans are implemented Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' MORE (D-Ore.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall Senate opens Trump impeachment trial MORE (D-Vt.), and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders, Biden campaigns ramp up attacks over Social Security Biden endorsed by four more members of Congressional Black Caucus Gabbard knocks Clinton's jab at Sanders: 'This isn't high school' MORE (I-Vt.) are original co-sponsors of the bill. Harris and Sanders, like Warren, are 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

The legislation was first introduced in the House by Reps. Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (D-Wash.), Paul CookPaul Joseph CookRepublicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre Amazon poised to escalate Pentagon 'war cloud' fight MORE (R-Calif.) and Deb HaalandDebra HaalandHaaland, Davids included in 'Jeopardy' clue for historic first as Native American congresswomen Pelosi announces Porter, Haaland will sit on Oversight panel Overnight Energy: House Dems propose halt to drilling on public lands | Former Van Drew staffers land jobs at Energy committee | Defense bill passes without key measures on 'forever chemicals' MORE (D-N.M.), one of the two Native American women in Congress.

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The massacre took place in 1890 on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota when Army soldiers slaughtered several hundred Lakota Indians, mostly women and children. The Medal of Honor, the country’s highest military honor, is awarded by Congress for “gallantry beyond the call of duty.”

“The horrifying acts of violence against hundreds of Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee should be condemned, not celebrated with Medals of Honor,” Warren said in a statement. “The Remove the Stain Act acknowledges a profoundly shameful event in U.S. history, and that’s why I’m joining my House colleagues in this effort to advance justice and take a step toward righting wrongs against Native peoples.”

“We have a responsibility to tell the true story of the horrific Wounded Knee Massacre,” added Merkley. “We cannot whitewash or minimize the dark chapters of our history, but instead must remember, reflect on, and work to rectify them. The massacre of innocents could not be farther from heroism, and I hope this bill helps set the record straight.”

Congress passed legislation in 1990 formally apologizing for the massacre, but further action was never taken.

The Remove the Stain Act, which comes after a campaign by indigenous groups for Congress to pass such legislation, has garnered the support of several tribes.

“As President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and on behalf of the people of the Oglala band of Lakota, I want to thank Senator Warren and Senator Merkley for bringing the Remove the Stain Act to the Senate,” said Oglala Sioux Tribe President Julian Bear Runner. “Our Lakota people have suffered a tremendous loss of hundreds of our relatives at the Wounded Knee Massacre and although Congress apologized for this atrocity in 1990, an apology is meaningless without justice and Senators Warren and Merkley’s bill provides some justice to our people.”