House Democrats say they are ready to take the next step to force through a bill that would study how reparations for slavery will take shape, but want to hurry to assure passage of any plan can be implemented by the Biden administration.
“This has been a 30-plus year journey,” Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas said in reference to her efforts to have reparations approved, according to The Washington Post. “We had to take a different approach. We had to go one by one to members explaining this does not generate a check.”
But it would cost $12 million of taxpayer dollars, for starters.
And under H.R. 40, the bill House Democrats think they can force through with their razor-thin House majority, the bill would form a commission to which Republicans need not apply to determine how reparations would be structured.
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The panel would have 13 members, one each appointed by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont as president pro tempore of the Senate, and six from civil rights groups that support reparations.
Jackson Lee insisted that the hearing conducted by the commission would be good for America.
“Reparations is about repair and when you repair the damage that has been done, you do so much to move a society forward. This commission can be a healing process — telling the truth can heal America,” she said.
Although House Democrats think they can pass the bill in the House, its fate in the Senate is less certain. To that end, Democrats plan to follow House passage with a demand that Biden create the commission through an executive order, bypassing the Senate entirely.
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The Post report says advocates for reparations want fast action now so that…