The Democrat-led House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass a bill seeking to remove confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.
The vote was 285–120 in favor of the bill, H.R. 3005, with all votes against it coming from Republicans.
The proposed legislation seeks to remove statues of those who supported the Confederate army in the U.S. Civil War. It also seeks to replace a bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, who authored a key decision in 1857 supporting slavery, with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice.
Taney had written the majority opinion of the 1857 Dred Scott decision that black people could not be American citizens and that slavery was not prohibited under the U.S. Constitution. The decision was later overturned by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which became official in 1868.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who introduced the latest bill, said late Tuesday that he hopes the Senate takes up the measure “without delay.”
“Today, the House took a stand against injustice and sent a message to the American people that symbols of slavery, segregation, and sedition are not welcome in the halls of Congress,” Hoyer said in a statement. “I am pleased to see our bill to remove hate pass in the House. Even though we cannot change our history, we can work to affirm the ideals that our country was built on: justice and equality for all.
“Symbols of slavery and segregation denigrate our Capitol and have no place here. Individuals who worked to enshrine or perpetuate the bondage of African Americans, or prevent them from achieving full and equal rights, are not worthy of being honored in our country.”
The move marks the second year in a row that the lower congressional chamber passed a measure to remove from the Capitol building statues of those who served or supported the Confederacy. The Senate, which was controlled by Republicans in 2020, had blocked the bill, which was introduced amid protests across the country calling for racial justice following the death of George Floyd.