House votes to remove Confederate statues from Capitol

A statue of Alexander Hamilton Stephens in the U.S. Capitol.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The House voted 305 to 113 on Wednesday evening to remove statues of Confederate figures from the Capitol, with bill co-sponsor Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) saying it is "past time that we end the glorification of men who committed treason against the United States in a concerted effort to keep African Americans in chains."

The vote comes after weeks of anti-racism protests, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May. The legislation mandates the removal of "all statues of individuals who voluntarily served" the Confederacy, specifically those of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina; John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky; Charles Brantley Aycock of North Carolina; and James Paul Clarke of Arkansas.

Under the bill, a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who delivered the majority opinion in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, would also be replaced with a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court's first Black justice. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday said once taken down, the statues and bust should be placed in a museum.

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It's unlikely the bill will make it to the Senate for a vote, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the measure "clearly a bridge too far" and an attempt to "airbrush the Capitol," The New York Times reports.

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