Hoyer rips GOP for push to restore Confederate flag at national parks

Hoyer rips GOP for push to restore Confederate flag at national parks
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House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Md.) bashed Republicans Thursday for a push to undo restrictions on Confederate flags at national parks.

Hoyer called the amendment, introduced by Rep. Ken CalvertKenneth (Ken) Stanton CalvertMORE (R-Calif.) Wednesday night on a spending bill, “appalling.” He challenged House Republicans to vote against it and preserve amendments banning Confederate flag sales at national parks and displays at national cemeteries.

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“That racist, divisive flag of slavery, segregation, and secession is not an appropriate symbol to sell or fly in our national parks and cemeteries run by the National Park Service,” Hoyer said in a statement early Thursday.

The amendment from Calvert would restore the National Park Service’s ability to sell flags at its parks and display flags at its cemeteries.

The votes this week to ban various uses of the Confederate flag were the first time Congress had formally weighed in on the matter since the killing of nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, S.C., allegedly by a white supremacist.

“It is time to put that symbol behind us as a nation,” Hoyer said. “I hope Republicans will join with Democrats to defeat this amendment and adopt provisions instead that remove the Confederate flag from those public places where it should not be flown or sold.”

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) criticized the amendment on the House floor shortly after it was introduced, saying, “the general display or sale of Confederate flag items is inappropriate and divisive and I support limiting their use.”

Calvert called for a recorded vote on his flag measure.