Sheila Jackson Lee: Biden Is ‘Committed’ to Concept of Setting Up Commission Examining Reparations

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a news conference at a newly opened free drive through Covid-19 testing site provided by United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

President Biden is “committed” to the concept of setting up a commission to examine issuing reparations to black Americans for slavery, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said this week.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved Jackson Lee’s measure that would set up a commission to study issuing reparations for slavery, titled H.R. 40, otherwise known as the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. The legislation, introduced in January, would “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies,” per a summary of the bill.

The Texas Democrat, a central figure behind the measure, told reporters President Biden is “committed to this concept” and expressed her gratitude:

“Whew, father God. Not me getting lectured to by white Republican Members of Congress at our markup on H.R. 40 (to create a commission to study reparations) about what it’s like to be Black in America,” far-left congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO), who has often accused her ideological opponents of promoting white supremacy, said late Wednesday.

“Not when Daunte Wright was just murdered. Not when my ancestors were enslaved,” she added:

“House Judiciary Committee is debating HR-40. The bill will establish a commission to study reparations in connection with slavery and its racist legacy,” Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said, vowing Democrats “will not” move on:

“FACT: Most reparations models focus on restorative community-based programs of employment, health care, housing, and educational initiatives,” House Judiciary Democrats said, demanding H.R. 40 to become a reality:

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Biden’s position in February, telling reporters the president would “certainly support a study of reparations,” although she did not say if the president would be willing to sign legislation taking action on the issue, specifically.

“We’ll see where Congress moves on that issue,” she said:

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