PRESIDENT Joe Biden signed off a bill that will officially mark Juneteenth, or June 19, as a federal holiday.
However, despite the president signing the bill into law and creating a federal holiday to commemorate Juneteenth, more than a dozen House Republicans voted against it.
Which Republicans voted against Juneteenth?
The following 14 Republicans voted against the bills passage are as followed:
- Rep Andy Biggs (Arizona)
- Rep Mo Brooks (Alabama)
- Rep Andrew Clyde (Georgia)
- Rep Scott DesJarlais (Tennessee)
- Rep Paul Gosar (Arizona)
- Rep Ronny Jackson (Texas)
- Rep Dough LaMalfa (California)
- Rep Thomas Massie (Kentucky)
- Rep Tom McClintock (California)
- Rep Ralph Norman (South Carolina)
- Rep Mike Rogers (Alabama)
- Rep Matt Rosendale (Montana)
- Rep Chip Roy (Texas)
- Rep Tom Tiffany (Wisconsin)
Several House Republicans objected to officially call the holiday "Juneteenth National Independence Day," claiming it could be confused with Independence Day on July 4.
“I fully support creating a day to celebrate the abolition of slavery,” Massie said during the House floor debate.
“However, naming this day National Independence Day will create confusion and push Americans to pick one of those two days as their Independence Day based on their racial identity.”
Massie suggested that the Juneteenth holiday could be named “Emancipation Day” instead.
GOP lawmaker Rosendale invoked the issue of culture wars over teaching American children in schools about the nation's history of systemic racism as his opposition for declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday.
“Let’s call an ace an ace. This is an effort by the left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make 'critical race theory' the reigning ideology of our country.
"Since I believe in treating everyone equally, regardless of race, and that we should be focused on what unites us rather than our differences, I will vote 'no,' ” Rosendale said ahead of the vote.
Will Joe Biden sign the bill?
The bill sailed through the US Senate, gaining unanimous approval on June 15 before being passed to Congress.
The House of Representatives then also passed the legislation the following day, establishing June 19 as a legal public holiday.
On Thursday, June 17, the date officially became a federal holiday after President Biden signed it into law.
Federal employees will receive a paid day off on June 19, or on the nearest Friday or Monday to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.
Since June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, most federal employees will get Friday, June 18 off.
Texas first made Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980, and “every state but South Dakota came to officially commemorate Juneteenth” in the decades following, according to CNN.
On June 19, 1865, Maj Gen. Gordan Granger of the Union Army informed the remaining enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, that they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation issued more than two years earlier.
What did Candace Owens say about Juneteenth?
Conservative Candace Owens tweeted her thoughts on the new Juneteenth federal holiday.
"Juneteenth is soooo lame. Democrats really need to stop trying to repackage segregation," Owens said.
"I’ll be celebrating July 4th and July 4th only. I’m American."
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