President Biden is set to sign legislation that marks the end of slavery in the United States on Juneteenth, a federal holiday.
Biden will hold a signing ceremony at the White House on Thursday afternoon, after a new federal vacation bill passed on June 19 in both the House of Representatives and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
June 19 will be the first new federal holiday since 1983, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated, bringing the total to 11. Insignificant government offices are closed, and federal employees are given vacation days. federal holidays, which are also often recognized by private employers.
“With this step, Congress is ensuring that one of the most significant events in our history, particularly for black Americans, is officially recognized for 150 years. It is enshrined in our history books. It will take its rightful place in our nation,” Nancy said. This was announced by House Speaker Pelosi on Wednesday before the vote in the lower house of Congress.
Juneteenth, which has been a Portmanteau word since June 19, refers to 1865, when Union troops announced the release of slaves in Texas more than two months after the end of the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Declaration more than two years earlier, officially declaring slaves free.
Commemorations began in Texas but eventually spread to neighboring US states. The date was accepted by the corporate America in connection with the murder George Lod Floyda black man by a Minneapolis police officer last year.
The June 19 bill passed the Democrat-controlled House late Wednesday night by 415-14 votes after the Senate unanimously approved the so-called unanimous procedure, meaning no senator is against it. It will become law when it is signed by the president.
The 14 members of the House who opposed the bill were all Republicans, including Mo Brooks of Alabama, Chip Roy of Texas and Thomas Moss of Kentucky.
Legislation comes at a time when lawmakers are still struggling over federalism police reform The legislation was first drafted shortly after Floyd in May 2020.
Biden called on Congress to pass the Police Justice Act on the eve of the first anniversary of Floyd’s death. But lawmakers missed the deadline because of a protracted dispute over quality immunity, a legal principle that protects the police from being held accountable for their actions.
Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Democrat Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey, the only two black senators in the 100-member House to lead the talks, continue to push for a deal.