Following the Civil War, formerly enslaved families were guaranteed by Union leadership 40 acres and a mule. The offer was never met, yet a reminder into the centuries-old promise that has stayed in Congress for decades is H.R. 40, the"Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act."
The bill has been introduced in every legislative session since 1989, and nearly two decades since the previous hearing on H.R. 40, the invoice and the idea of reparations are getting a new spotlight at Washington on Wednesday during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing.
Since the last time a hearing was held on H.R. 40 in 2019, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has publicly declared her support for reparations. Nonetheless, in the three years since the bill was first introduced, it has yet to reach the House floor for a vote.
Jackson Lee told ABC News,"we are determined to take this via markup, which is a procedural process that we use in Congress as you know, then to the ground, then we would like to get into the United States Senate."
Wednesday's hearing may also examine the global impact of reparations. 1 speaker that will testify Wednesday will discuss reparations for Japanese Americans, that have been passed beneath by President Ronald Reagan following the internment of Japanese Americans from the United States during World War II.
After the hearing, H.R.40 will need to be passed through the House Judiciary Committee. If it is passed there, the House can start debate on the bill.
Exterior of the walls of Congress numerous state and local governments and universities across the country have confessed their role in the slave trade and also are exploring ways to address the issue since the previous hearing H.R.40.
The town would later adopt a resolution to create a"reparations fund" as a part of the city funding to utilize tax revenue collected from the sales of recreational marijuana to support reparations in town. Moreover, the fund allowed for private contributions.
In the first period of reparations, the city is giving up to $25,000 towards homeownership for Evanston residents and their immediate decedents who suffered housing discrimination between 1919 and 1969.
In 2020, California passed a law to make a task force aimed at analyzing and making recommendations for reparations for Black Americans.
In North Carolina, several municipalities and local authorities have apologized for slavery and segregation when focusing their efforts on prioritizing racial fairness. The Asheville, North Carolina, city council voted unanimously last year to apologize for its role in slavery, vowing to offer reparations to black decedents through investments in an effort to fix disparities facing black inhabitants.
"centuries of Black blood spilled that essentially fills the cup we drink from today," one of the lead sponsors of the bill, city councilman Keith Young, said in 2020. "It's simply inadequate to remove statutes. Black men and women in this country are dealing with problems that are systemic in nature."
University of Connecticut professor Thomas Craemer has analyzed the subject of race and reparations for over 15 years. Craemer published a newspaper in 2015 estimating that the costs of captivity and reduction of wealth through captivity price a conservative estimate of $14.5 trillion through 2009, which did not account for inflation.
His analysis also didn't account for colonial slavery or the reduction of wealth due to discrimination after slavery.
He explained the current stimulation checks might be the blueprint for how reparations might be dispersed out. "[The] experience of trillions of dollars being delivered to people's houses, through the tax system may, you know, could be an illustration of how this could be accomplished fairly easily," Craemer said.
Craemer said he affirms H.R.40 but believes since the bill's first debut, a fantastic deal of research into reparations was completed. He said the focus should be on providing"a few reparations in addition to setting up a commission to do further research."
Various other critics of H.R. 40 state that using the COVID-19 relief package still under discussion, the effort for reparations must wait patiently. Jackson Lee, a member of the House Budget Committee, said she would push the $1.9 trillion relief charge and for $15 an hour minimum wage in the same time she's fighting for H.R. 40.
"We can't wait-- I join with the Biden administration that says we can do several things at the same time," she told ABC News Tuesday.
Jackson Lee notes, H.R. 40 is a"international legal concept; it is not something we have created here. It copes with restorative and fix, which is needed in this nation."
"I believe that in 2021. We want to isolate white supremacy. White racism, domestic violence, we want to Check out each other as our fellow brothers and sisters, and as have been stated to the ages, our fellow Americans, I need H.R. 40 to maintain the minds and hearts about fellow Americans, pass it and immediately get it signed by the President of the USA," the Texas congresswoman said.