Republican senators debate replacing Columbus Day with June 19 as a federal holiday

Republican senators are debating whether Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, should replace Columbus Day on the federal government’s list of official holidays.

A bipartisan bill sponsored by the senator. John CornynJohn Cornyn New Legislation Required to Secure United States Semiconductor Leadership GOP Skeptical of Surveys in Trump Hillicon Valley: Live Streaming Service Twitch Suspends Trump Account | Reddit updates hate speech policy and bans subreddits, including The_Donald | India bans TikTok MORE (R-Texas) To make the nineteenth day a federal holiday is being withheld by an internal dispute by the Republican Senate Party.

Senator Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson Postal Service Powered By Increased Use During Pandemic: Report Lawmakers Present Legislation To Establish National Director Of Cybersecurity Trump, Republican Clash Over New Round Of Checks MORE (R-Wis.), An open budget hawk, doesn’t want to add other paid vacations to the calendar.

Johnson says that if Juneteenth becomes a federal holiday, another paid federal holiday should go off schedule. He is proposing to eliminate Columbus Day, but is willing to eliminate another holiday.

“I’m just saying let’s replace it with something. I chose Columbus Day only because it is probably the most celebrated and least disruptive of anyone’s schedule “to cut off the federal holiday calendar, he said.

Johnson said Wednesday “we have an alternative bill” and that he is “talking to some of my colleagues.”

Johnson said he is “happy to celebrate emancipation with a national holiday, but I don’t think we should, when we are already opening a hole in the budget right now, offering another paid day off for federal employees.”

Cornyn, who is running for reelection this fall, has put his bill on the “hotline,” meaning he is consulting with his Senate colleagues to move his Juneteenth bill to the floor soon and pass it by consent. unanimous or voice vote. But Johnson has suspended the legislation.

Senator James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTrump Calls on Congress to Take Action Against “Low Income” Burning the American Flag Senators Offer Bill to Expand Charitable Tax Exemption Trump Suggests Legislation That Would Imprison People Who Burn the Flag for One Year PLUS (R-Okla.) He is a co-sponsor of Johnson’s proposal, according to a draft legislative text obtained by The Hill.

A Republican aide said Johnson’s proposal has been put forward as a substitute amendment to the Cornyn bill that makes Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Cornyn, however, says it would be “troublesome” to cut Columbus Day, which celebrates the Italian explorer who is widely credited with being the first European to discover the American continent. Columbus Day has long been popular with Italian Americans, in particular.

Cornyn said exchanging on June 19 and cutting Columbus Day “dilutes the message we are trying to send, which is one of being respectful, honoring and remembering our history.”

“I think that is problematic,” he said of Johnson’s counteroffer. “We are working on all of those things right now, we just don’t have an answer right now.”

Cornyn, who faces a potentially competitive reelection race, filed his bill with the senator. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John Markey The Hill Campaign Report: Jacksonville Demands Covering Its Face As Republican Convention Steyer Endorses Markey In Massachusetts Senate Primary. (D-Mass.) To make Juneteenth a federal holiday last month. Its co-sponsors include Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHouse to Pass Radical Police Reform Legislation Police reform in limbo after Senate setback Democrats block Republican police reform bill amid Senate deadlock MORE (DN.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris Progressive groups urge Biden to turn to Warren, as Young Turks hostess says Elizabeth Warren should be Biden’s vice president. (D-Calif.) Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene Scott Officials were unable to contact Trump on the golf course to remove the retweet from the video showing the man singing ‘white power’: The Hill’s Morning Report – Officials crack down on COVID cases- 19 soar Karen Bass star rises after police reform push MORE (RS.C.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Approves Extension of Application Deadline for Small Business PPP Loans Political Establishment Affected as Supreme Chaos Reigns This Week: Democrats Ready to Move Healthcare and Infrastructure Proposals in November MORE (R-Maine).

The Senate passed a Cornyn-sponsored resolution honoring June 15 of last month. The day is celebrated in 47 states, including Texas, as well as the District of Columbia.

Johnson estimates that a single federal holiday costs the government about $ 600 million in paid time off for federal employees.

Lankford said in a statement that while Juneteenth deserves to be remembered, Congress must weigh the economic impact of increasing total federal holidays.

“Throughout our history, we have strived to become a more perfect union, and Juneteenth was a great step in achieving that goal. We should celebrate these advances at the federal level while remaining aware of the impact that the existing 10 federal holidays have on federal services and local businesses, ”he said.