Senate panel approves Nazi-stolen art recovery bill

Jewish families are one step closer to recovering artwork that was stolen by the Nazis.

A Senate panel on Thursday advanced the bipartisan Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act. The legislation would eliminate legal barriers that stand in the way of Jewish families reclaiming art that ended up in museums and private collections following the Holocaust.

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Three months after actress Helen Mirren showed up on Capitol Hill to advocate for the HEAR Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation, which now goes to the floor for a final vote.

The HEAR Act has garnered wide support from both sides of the aisle, including from Sens. John CornynJohn CornynPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week How the border deal came together MORE (R-Texas), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (R-Texas), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHouse Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall Trump says he 'didn't need to' declare emergency but wanted 'faster' action MORE (D-N.Y.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

For Jewish families, this art is a reminder of their heritage, said Cruz, which is “far more valuable than whatever economic value the works of art or cultural artifacts might have today. Indeed, that is priceless.” 

“It is long past time to return the ill-gotten gains of one of history’s vilest villains,” said Blumenthal.