The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance H.R. 40, a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans.
According to CNN, Wednesday’s vote is the first time the bill could have a full House vote on the floor after passing on the committee with a 25-17 vote.
The measure proposes creating a federal body to study reparations and recommend remedies for the harm caused by slavery and discriminatory policies that followed.
It would also consider how the U.S. would formally apologize for the “perpetration of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity on African slaves and their descendants.”
Despite this accomplishment, the bill has numerous hurdles to overcome before becoming a law.
House Judiciary Committee is debating HR-40.
The bill will establish a commission to study reparations in connection with slavery and its racist legacy.
Republicans simply want us to move on.
No we will not. pic.twitter.com/L9Imd7WnbU
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) April 15, 2021
Whew, father God. Not me getting lectured to by white Republican Members of Congress at our markup on H.R. 40 (to create a commission to study reparations) about what it’s like to be Black in America. Not when Daunte Wright was just murdered. Not when my ancestors were enslaved.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) April 15, 2021
While H.R. 40 would address it on a federal level, the topic has been touched by some cities and institutions, including Evanston, Illinois and the Catholic Church.