Republican Sen. Roy Blunt has blocked the Senate from passing a bill by unanimous consent to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) had sought to pass a bill via unanimous consent.
Yahoo reports Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has blocked a bill to remove 11 statues honoring members of the Confederacy from the U.S. Capitol, saying he wanted to slow the process down.
Senate Democrats sought to pass the Confederate Monument Removal Act by unanimous consent, meaning it would clear the chamber without a formal vote as long as no legislator objected. Practically all routine Senate business is handled this way. Blunt objected, stating he wanted to consider a hearing and to understand what the states would do with the statues if they were removed.
“I’d like to … get the opinion of people who are taking similar statues out of the building. I’d also like to find out what other states have in mind as their part of this agreement,” Blunt said. “I’d certainly like to have some time to see if we should have a hearing on this.
“It would have the effect of abandoning agreements that we have entered into with the states and the states have entered with us,” he added. “This is a more complicated arrangement than the activity on the floor today would suggest.”
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., last week, would remove the statues of anyone who voluntarily served in the Confederacy from the National Statuary Hall Collection within 120 days of passage. The bill was previously introduced by Booker and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., in 2017 but never gained traction.
“Individuals who committed treason against the United States of America and led our nation into its most painful and bloody war to preserve the institution of slavery are not patriots and should not be afforded such a rare honor in this sacred space,” said Booker, who is Black. “The continued presence of these statues in the halls of Congress is an affront not just to Black Americans, but to the very ideals we as a nation proclaim, that we are a place of liberty and justice for all.”
“Candidly, I don’t think it would be too imposing to ask our states not to send statues of people who actively fought against this country,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “You know, there is a reason that Connecticut doesn’t send a statue of Benedict Arnold.”