Senate approves Juneteenth as federal holiday after Sen. Johnson drops objection

US Senate votes to make Juneteenth a holiday

Senate OKs Legislation To Make Juneteenth A Legal Holiday

The bill would lead to Juneteenth becoming the 12th federal holiday.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States, a legal public holiday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Wednesday morning that the chamber would bring the measure to the floor for a vote, where it's expected to pass with bipartisan support later in the day after clearing the Senate on Tuesday.

"It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years", Cornyn tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more ideal union", Cornyn tweeted.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed into law a bill last week designating June 19 each year as Juneteenth and as a paid state holiday.

"We want to make sure that we fly this flag high to commemorate all those who died during the Civil War, all of those who were enslaved, and then what the Emancipation Proclamation means for this city and for the whole nation as a whole", said Vice Mayor Saundra Cherry.

The measure was introduced last summer, but Johnson's vocal objections about the cost to taxpayers to pay federal workers for the day off stopped it from passing by unanimous consent.

Juneteenth marks when enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

If the bill is passed in the House and signed by the president, Juneteenth would become the 11th annual federal holiday. "They attempted to pass the bill without debate or amendment process".

"While it still seems unusual that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter". "Therefore, I do not intend to object". Now, about a year later, the bill included 18 GOP co-sponsors. Alabama also recognizes the state holidays of Confederate Memorial Day, celebrated in April, and Robert E. Lee's birthday, celebrated the same day as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Juneteenth is a paid holiday for state employees in Texas, New York, Virginia and Washington.

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