Ron Johnson Defends Proposal to Eliminate Columbus Day Holiday

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) listens to a question from a member of the press at the Capitol December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senate GOPs indicate that they have enough votes to pass the tax reform bill. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claimed on Wednesday night that his proposal to eliminate Columbus Day as a federal holiday is not “deprecating Christopher Columbus’ achievements” and added that he does not support efforts to erase American history.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who is up for reelection this year, sponsored a bipartisan bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Johnson, concerned about the added cost of creating another federal holiday, proposed to eliminate Columbus Day as a national holiday in exchange. Lankford reportedly cosponsored Johnson’s proposal.

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson torched Johnson and Lankford for pushing to “abolish” Columbus Day. He said:

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and James Lankford of Oklahoma are both Republican senators. Today they introduced legislation to abolish Columbus day. They wanted to delete it from the national calendar and replace it with Juneteenth. This is a big change. Americans have celebrated Columbus Day as long as we’ve had a country, since 1792. Columbus Day is a celebration of the nation itself. That’s why it’s a national holiday.

If you don’t say anything about it, there is no telling what Johnson and Lankford might do next. Just the other day, for example, The New York Times ran a piece suggesting that we knock down George Washington statues and purge our country’s founder from our collective memory. Today the paper announced that we should consider closing Mount Rushmore because of course, racism.

Senators Johnson and Lankford haven’t endorsed those ideas. At this rate, it may not be long before they do. The question is what other acts of revolution and cultural desecration can we expect from our suddenly woke republican senator friends? That’s a good question.

In response to the backlash, Johnson claimed that he was simply concerned about the fiscal impact of adding another paid federal holiday.

“My sole motivation for offering this amendment to the Juneteenth bill is to prevent giving federal workers another paid holiday and incurring the additional cost,” Johnson wrote on Wednesday.

“It is not deprecating Christopher Columbus’ achievements or expressing any value judgement [sic] regarding his place in history,” he added. “I do not support efforts to erase America’s rich history — not the good, the bad, or the ugly.”

Geoffrey Miller, a psychology professor at the University of New Mexico, wrote in response to Johnson, “Canceling a holiday that honors someone’s place in history is the clearest possible value judgment on their place in history. Name me a clearer value judgment. I’ll wait.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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