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House panel takes steps to remove racist statues from US Capitol

The House Appropriations Committee is making moves to potentially remove the Confederate statues in the US Capitol.

Tucked into the House Appropriations Committee legislative branch funding bill for next year, which funds House operations, is a directive for the Architect of the Capitol to remove statues or busts in the US Capitol that represent figures who participated in the Confederate Army or government.

It also goes beyond just those with links to the confederacy, directing that the statues and busts of individuals with “unambiguous records of racial intolerance” also be removed such as Charles Aycock, John C. Calhoun, James Paul Clarke and Roger B. Taney.

The architect is instructed to remove the controversial relics from the public space, within 45 days of enactment. They will be put in storage until they can be returned to the states that donated them to the US Capitol.

There will be a subcommittee markup of this bill Monday, a full committee vote later in the week and floor consideration is expected later in the month, a House congressional aide tells CNN.

Throughout the Capitol complex there are 12 statues honoring the likes of Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, among others, many depicting the soldiers and generals wearing Confederate uniforms.

Many of them are in the prestigious Statuary Hall on the House side of the US Capitol, in the Crypt or the Capitol Visitor Center — all places where typically thousands of tourists and members of Congress walk by daily.

For years, a group of Democrats have advocated for new legislation to remove the Confederate statues.

Some have been rearranged and moved to less prominent places on Capitol Hill. But there has been renewed focus, in the wake of the national uprising against systemic racism, to get them out of the US Capitol all together.



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