History was made on Capitol Hill earlier today as members of the United States Senate voted unanimously to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday.
The bill passed after Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin dropped his objection to the bill earlier in the day. With that said, Johnson didn’t appear to be fully in favor of the bill itself. Rather, he just didn’t want to be known as the only Senator who stood in the way of making it a federal holiday.
“It sounds like Congress wants to do it so I’m not going to stand in the way,” Johnson told HuffPost after the bill passed.
“I just think it’s kind of odd that now apparently the only way to do [celebrate the end of slavery] is to give 2 million federal workers a paid day off, cost American taxpayers $600 million.”
“[I am] appy that my bill to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday just passed the Senate,” Sen. John Cornyn tweeted.
“It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years. Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more perfect union.”
#Juneteenth must be more than just a special day. Coretta Scott King said that "struggle is a never-ending process, Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation."
We all have an obligation. We all must carry the torch of freedom. pic.twitter.com/1tZMBP2OSR
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) June 15, 2021