GOP lawmaker who opposed Juneteenth holiday calls decision 'an easy no vote'

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One of the House Republicans who opposed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday described his decision as an “easy no vote.”

The House passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act by a vote of 415 to 14 on Wednesday, one day after the Senate passed the legislation unanimously. President Joe Biden signed it into law on Thursday.


South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman, one of the 14 Republicans who voted against the bill, gave two main reasons to explain his opposition.

Norman was upset with the title, “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” because he took exception with the idea that there could be two independence days, he explained in a statement.

“First of all, our Independence Day is July 4th. Period. Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of our declared independence from Great Britain, and it’s been that way for 245 years," Norman said. "If you want to call Juneteenth, for example, Freedom Day or Emancipation Day then fine — that’s certainly worth considering. But calling it Independence Day is WHOLLY INAPPROPRIATE.”

Norman also said there would be unintended consequences that come with the addition of more federal holidays.

“We can’t just add new federal holidays without considering the ramifications” because it "should easily cost the federal government over a billion dollars Every. Single. Year. in federal payroll & holiday premiums with no offsets!" Norman said.

The South Carolina Republican reiterated his stance during a Thursday interview on Fox News Radio with Jimmy Failla.

“How many holidays do we want? What’s the magic number? This would put it to 11,” he said. “Do we want 20? Are we gonna do one for the Native American Indians? I mean, where does it stop? This was such an easy no vote.”

Other GOP lawmakers who voted against the bill provided similar explanations.

Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas told USA Today that he believes “we have enough federal holidays right now.”


Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie and Texas Rep. Chip Roy both referenced the name of the bill as their reason for opposition.

“This name needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one’s skin," Roy said.

The other lawmakers who voted against the bill include Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Doug LaMalfa of California, Mike Rogers of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Tom McClintock of California, Matt Rosendale of Montana, and Andrew Clyde of Georgia.

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Tags: News, Juneteenth, Holidays, ralph norman, Congress

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: GOP lawmaker who opposed Juneteenth holiday calls decision 'an easy no vote'

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