Get your citizen lobbying gloves on to help right the wrongs of history and win justice. #SolidarityInAction
“Here we are today, marking up for the first time in the history of the United States of America any legislation that deals directly with the years and centuries of slavery of African American people who are now the descendants of those Africans,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), the bill’s new sponsor since Conyers’ retirement in 2017, said Wednesday. “We’re asking for people to understand the pain, the violence, the brutality, the chattel-ness of what we went through.”
House Lawmakers Advance Historic Bill To Form Reparations Commission
The House Judiciary Committee took up the bill on Wednesday evening. The vote was the first time the committee has acted on the legislation since former Democratic Rep. John Conyers initially introduced it in 1989. This year, the legislation has the support of more than 170 Democratic co-sponsors and key congressional leaders.
A bill on studying reparations is getting a House vote 30 years in the making
Briefly, what’s in HR 40, the House’s bill to study reparations
If passed, HR 40 would establish a “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans,” composed of 13 members, with three to be chosen by the president, three by the speaker of the House, one by the president pro tempore of the Senate, and another six by “major” civil rights groups “that have historically championed the cause of reparatory justice.”
The commission would be charged with determining institutional culpability against former enslaved Africans and their American descendants across the public and private sector. It would also be required to interrogate how practices such as redlining, educational funding discrepancies, and predatory financial practices — alongside enslavement — have exacerbated racial opportunity and wealth gaps.
At the conclusion of their work, the commission would then report “appropriate remedies” to Congress, based on its findings on institutional enslavement and racism.