A House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on reparations discussed the creation of a commission to explore reparations for Black Americans.
The Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties met to discuss H.R. 40, aka the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.
A House panel heard testimony Wednesday on legislation that would create a commission to examine the history of slavery in the U.S. as well as the discriminatory government policies that affected former slaves and their descendants. The commission would recommend ways to educate the American public of its findings and suggest appropriate remedies, including financial payments from the government to compensate descendants of slaves for years of unpaid labor by their ancestors, the AP reported
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has reintroduced a reparations bill to the House, and she now has 162 co-sponsors. In the Senate, a reparations bill has been introduced by Sen. Cory Booker, which also has 17 co-sponsors.
When questioned by reporters on Wednesday about whether Joe Biden would sign a bill, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would support a study on whether descendants of slavery in the United States should receive reparations.
“He certainly would support a study of reparations,” Psaki said at the White House briefing. “He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime.”
White people, who never enslaved anyone have to hand over money to people who were never enslaved? It’s all based on the color of a person’s skin. There are so many descendants – who never suffered from slavery – that the cost will be astronomical.
They already have reparations. Every initiative Biden puts forward is race-based, with whites at the end of the line.
Psaki says President Biden would “certainly support a study of reparations,” but does not say whether he’d sign legislation or take executive action creating a reparations commission: “We’ll see where Congress moves on that issue” https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/H3bFLUSoDs
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 17, 2021
According to the AP, Biden won with strong black support and fully backs this commission and wants congressional support. Since Congress is controlled by Democrats, that appears to be a given.
IT’S ABOUT VOTES
Rep. Burgess Owens, a first-term Republican from Utah, argued against a reparations commission. He noted that his great-great-grandfather arrived in America in the belly of a slave ship but went on to escape slavery through the Underground Railroad and become a successful entrepreneur. He criticized the “redistribution of wealth” as a failed government policy.
“Though it is impractical and a nonstarter for the United States government to pay reparations, it is also unfair and heartless to give Black Americans the hope that this is a reality,” Owens said.
Burgess Owens tweeted, “Reparations are not about helping the black community, it’s about getting votes. Want to help the black community(& everyone else)? Let us get back to work, let our kids go back to school, let our parents decide which school, and get planned parenthood out of our inner cities!”
Sheila Jackson Lee told the subcommittee, “The government-sanctioned slavery,” Jackson Lee said. “And that is what we need, a reckoning, a healing reparative justice.”
The government that sanctioned it is long-gone, the people involved are dead. The people who would have to pay are not the government. They are the federal taxpayer.