House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for removal of nearly a dozen statues from the halls of Congress.
Pelosi sent the following letter to Roy Blunt and Zoe Lofgren.
ABC News reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday called for the removal of nearly a dozen Confederate statues from the halls of Congress, throwing her weight behind efforts to take down the figures linked to racism and the Confederacy following the death of George Floyd.
In a new letter to the Joint Committee on the Library, a House-Senate panel that manages the National Statuary Hall Collection, Pelosi asked Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., to direct the Architect of the Capitol to “immediately” start removing 11 statues of men associated with the Confederacy from display in the Capitol complex.
“While I believe it is imperative that we never forget our history lest we repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or places of honor across the country,” Pelosi said in the letter obtained exclusively by ABC News.
Pelosi’s request comes as Democrats plan to introduce a bill that would take down the statues in the Capitol — sending them to the states that commissioned them, or to the Smithsonian — and could yield the same result significantly faster.
“Especially at this time in the nation’s history, when the country is galvanized by the killing of George Floyd and riveted by tens of thousands of Americans peacefully demonstrating against institutional racism, to have statues of Confederates in Statuary Hall is really at odds with who we are as a country and what we aspire to be,” Lofgren, the vice chair of the Joint Committee on the Library and chair of the House Administration Committee, told ABC News.
In 2017, when Democrats were in the House minority, she supported unsuccessful efforts to take down the statues in 2017, after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one woman dead and more than a dozen people injured.
During her first term as speaker, from 2007 to 2011, Democrats moved a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to the Capitol Crypt and out of Statuary Hall, just steps from the House chamber, as part of a reshuffling of the collection authorized by Congress.