House Committee Hears Testimony Regarding Reparations

Headline Roundup June 19th, 2019

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties heard testimony today regarding H.R. 40, a bill that would permit the legislative branch to explore the idea of reparations for slavery. The bill sparked controversy along the ideological spectrum.

Some 2020 Democrats like the idea, but none discussed concrete plans for its execution. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been outspoken against the bill, saying that "none of us currently living are responsible."

The idea of reparations is not popular among voters. The majority of voters (68%) say they do not support cash reparations to descendants of slaves. About 1 in every 3 African American voters do not support reparations; about 8 in 10 white voters do not support reparations.

House Committee Hears Testimony Regarding Reparations

From the Left
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OPINION

(CNN) - If you've heard of "40 acres and a mule," then you know that the concept of America paying reparations for the enslavement of black people is by no means a new idea.

The concept has been discussed since 1865 when the promise to repay -- I use that term loosely -- former slaves was made by Union Gen. William T. Sherman and then backed by President Abraham Lincoln and Congress.
As we know, the promise would be broken (when President Andrew Johnson withdrew the offer).

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From the Center
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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only African American Republican in the Senate, says reparations for slavery are a “non-starter.”

Scott said Wednesday that it would be too difficult to calculate who deserves compensation and who must pay for the institution of slavery and the years of discriminatory laws that followed its abolition.

“There’s no question that slavery is a scourge on the history of America. The question is: Is reparations a realistic path forward? The answer is no,” Scott said.

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From the Right
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As Democrats consider the idea of reparations to black Americans for slavery, polling indicates that the public is far from convinced about the idea.

House Judiciary Democrats on Wednesday were holding a hearing in the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee on H.R. 40 -- a proposal by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, to set up a commission to study and develop a response to the question of reparations for slavery.

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