The Trump administration has sworn to protect this country’s monuments, statues, and memorials, but it may not be able to protect a traditional American holiday.
Columbus Day may not be around for much longer if a couple of Republican senators get their way. And that could enrage a certain portion of the U.S. populace.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and James Lankford (R-OK) want to replace Columbus Day with another federal holiday:
First, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) proposed a bill that would simply add Juneteenth to the calendar as another federal holiday.
But Republicans didn’t like the idea of the added cost, so Johnson and Lankford are proposing to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth:
To offset the cost of adding Juneteenth as a federal holiday, Johnson proposed eliminating Columbus Day as a national holiday.
He contended that few people celebrate Columbus Day, which marks Christopher Columbus’ landing in the Americas in 1492.
Rather than citing political reasons, Johnson says they picked Columbus Day simply because “it’s probably the most lightly celebrated.”
However, while Sen. Cornyn likes the idea of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, he’s against the idea of ditching Columbus Day.
He called it “problematic” and added:
…[it] dilutes the message we’re trying to send, which is one of being respectful and honoring and remembering our history.
Lankford contends that Juneteenth represented a “huge step” in our goal of becoming a “more perfect union.”
Despite the claims and disclaimers, though, expect to see pushback from other Republicans and Conservative citizens.
They may say it isn’t political but some are bound to view it this way, so it’ll be interesting to see how Capitol Hill responds.
In the wake of the George Floyd incident, this will remain a hot-button issue for a while. As such, it’s likely we’ll see many advocates for Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
- Two GOP Senators want to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
- They say it’s not for political reasons, but simply because Columbus Day is “lightly celebrated.”
- Expect to see pushback from other Republicans and members of the Trump administration who continue to defend American history.