U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Juneteenth Holiday Bill Authored by Senator John Cornyn
Tuesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill which would make Juneteenth a federal holiday. The bill was authored by Senator John Cornyn (R- Texas), and sponsored by Senator Ed Markey (D- Massachusetts) and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX- 18).
“The freedom of all Americans that Texas celebrates every Juneteenth should be celebrated all across the nation,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The passage of this bill represents a big step in our nation’s journey toward equality. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their support, and my fellow Texans who have been celebrating this important holiday for more than a century.”
Juneteenth is already a state holiday in Texas, 46 other states, and the District of Columbia.
According to his office, Senator Cornyn has been the lead author of a resolution honoring Juneteenth each year since 2011.
One Republican senator had previously objected to the bill.
Senator Ron Johnson (R- Wisconsin) argued last year that making Juneteenth of full-fledged federal holiday would add additional costs and burdens to the U.S. taxpayers.
FOX News reported that Senator Johnson dropped his objection to the legislation on Tuesday.
"Last year, a bill was introduced to celebrate Juneteenth by providing an additional paid holiday for 2 million federal employees at a cost of $600 million per year," Johnson said. "They attempted to pass the bill without debate or amendment process. Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate."
The bill now moves to the U.S. House for consideration. Various national media reports say it is expected to pass in the House, and it would then move on to President Biden.