House GOPers Use Vote To Remove Confederate Statues To Attack Dems

UNITED STATES - MAY 20 (FILE): House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., attends a news conference to highlight Cuban Independence Day outside the Capitol on Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Ro... UNITED STATES - MAY 20 (FILE): House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., attends a news conference to highlight Cuban Independence Day outside the Capitol on Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 29, 2021 6:59 p.m.

House Republicans on Tuesday viewed the chamber’s upcoming vote on legislation to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol as an opportunity to accuse Democrats of trying to “erase history” and boost their hysteria over so-called “Critical Race Theory.”

Amid throwing his support behind the bill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gleefully remarked that the Confederate statues in the Capitol are “Democrats.”

“Let me state a simple fact,” McCarthy said. “All the statues being removed by this bill are statues of Democrats.”

McCarthy quipped that the bill “should go further” before bringing up the right-wing outrage over “Critical Race Theory” — an academic and legal term that conservatives have appropriated and hijacked as part of the GOP’s culture wars.

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“They continue to look at race as the primary means of judging a person’s character,” McCarthy said, referring to Democrats. “By advocating for it, Democrats continue to fuel hatred and division across the country.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), who announced his opposition to making Juneteenth a federal holiday earlier this month by whining about how it would open the floodgates for the Left to push the so-called “critical race theory,” unsurprisingly griped that the removal of Confederate statues in the Capitol would only serve Democrats who are supposedly “animated” by the academic concept that Republicans have seized on as its latest culture war.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was stripped from all of her committees for threatening Democrats in social media posts, similarly said that she is opposed to the measure by accusing Democrats of attempting to “erase history.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) also signaled his opposing to the legislation by echoing the argument that Democrats are trying to “erase history.”

Tuesday’s vote to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol is the second attempt by Democrats to do so after the measure failed to gain traction in the then-GOP-controlled Senate last year after it passed in the lower chamber.

The legislation passed in the House in 2020 in a 305-113 vote, with 72 Republicans joining Democrats. The measure then stalled in the GOP-majority Senate.

Earlier this year, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) reintroduced the bill, citing the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 when Trump supporters breached the building with Confederate flags and other symbols of hate in tow. Shortly before the Capitol attack, Trump told the crowd of his supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

“On January 6th, we experienced the divisiveness of Confederate battle flags being flown inside the U.S. Capitol. Yet there are still vestiges that remain in this sacred building that glorify people and a movement that embraced that flag and sought to divide and destroy our great country,” Clyburn said in a statement when reintroducing the bill in May. “This legislation will remove these commemorations from places of honor and demonstrate that as Americans we do not celebrate those who seek to divide us.”

Although Democrats control both chambers of Congress, and are expected to take it up for a vote in the Senate, it is unclear whether Republican senators would give the 60 votes needed to advance the measure in a 50-50 Senate.

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