On Tuesday, the United States Senate approved a bill to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday after Senator Ron Johnson said he would withdraw his objection to the measure. Representative Sheila Jackson, Senator Ed Markey, and Senator John Cornyn introduced the resolution, and it passed by common consent. In the same way, the House representatives also expected to pass the bipartisan legislation.
Cornyn tweeted that happy that his bill to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday just approved by the Senate. In Texas, it has been a state holiday for over forty years. Now, as a nation, they need to learn from history and continue to form a perfect union.
Happy that my bill to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday just passed the Senate. It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years. Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more perfect union. https://t.co/EpcJCUmfmn
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) June 15, 2021
Initially, the Cornyn-backed bill introduced in the Senate in 2020 following countrywide protests against racial discrimination after the police killing of a Black man George Floyd. Johnson was the only senator to oppose the legislation, arguing in July of last year that the bill would place an needless burden on taxpayer citizens by requiring them to fund another paid holiday for federal employees.
Senator Ron Johnson Withdrew His objection to The Legislation
But on Tuesday, Johnson withdrew his objection on legislation. Johnson said that in 2020 a bill introduced in the Senate to celebrate Juneteenth by providing another paid holiday for two million federal employees at a price of around $600 million yearly. They tried to approve the bill without amendment or debate process. Johnson added that though he strongly supports celebrating Emancipation, he objected to the cost and lack of debate.
He added that although it still looks strange that having taxpayer nationals provide national employees paid holiday now required to celebrate the slavery end, it is obvious that there is no appetite in Congress to discuss the issue more. So, he doesn’t intend to object.
Every year on 19th June, Americans celebrated Juneteenth to observe the slavery end in the United States. On 19th June 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Texas, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation of the former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
Juneteenth is previously officially recognized in forty-seven states, including Washington D.C., but some states celebrate it as a paid holiday for employees. After the approval of the legislation from the House lawmakers, it would then proceed to the desk of President Joe Biden for final approval.