THE House has voted to remove all Confederate statues from Congress – despite opposition from 120 Republicans.
GOP congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene called Tuesday’s decision “a power grab”, adding: “All the tyrants throughout history tear down statues and attempt to erase history in order to reign with an iron fist.”
But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, said: “This sacred space, this temple of democracy has been defiled for too long.
“We ought not to forget history. We must learn from history. But we ought not to honor that which defiles the principles for which we … stand.
“It’s time to remove those symbols of slavery, segregation and sedition from these halls.”
The legislation passed by a vote of 285-120, with 67 Republicans joining unanimous Democrat support.
Under the plans the bust of Roger Taney, the chief justice who ruled that black people lacked citizen rights under the 1857 Dred Scott ruling, will go.
A statue of Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice to serve on the nation’s highest court, would replace Taney.
The statues of Jefferson Davis and others who served in the Confederacy will also be removed.
Rep. Hank Johnson added: “It’s personally an affront to me as a black man to walk around and look at these figures and see them standing tall, looking out as if they were visionaries and they did something that was great.
“No, they did something that was very hurtful to humanity.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said: “The Democratic Party has doubled down on what I consider this shameful history by replacing the racism of the past with the racism of the critical race theory.”
He said he would vote for the bill, but noted that “all the statues being removed by this bill are statues of Democrats.”
McCarthy added: ‘Let me state a simple fact. All the statues being removed by this bill are statues of Democrats.
“I think the bill should go further. Maybe it’s time the Democrats change the name of their party.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale was one of those who voted against the legisaltion.
He said: “Unfortunately, Democrats, animated by the Critical Race Theory concepts of structural racism, microaggressions, and a United States based solely on white supremacy, have chosen to remove statues that underscore the failures of our pre-1861 Constitution.
“Make no mistake, those who won the West and George Washington are next.”
The bill now heads to the Senate, where the Democrats hold a majority.
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A similar bill which passed the House last year failed to make it through the Senate.
Monuments and statues to the country’s founding fathers, not just Confederate soldiers, were increasingly been targeted by protesters following the murder of George Floyd.
The removed statues would go back to the states that sent them.