Biden to signal Juneteenth invoice, creating first new federal vacation in many years

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President Joe Biden indicators govt orders on well being care, within the Oval Workplace of the White Home in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2021.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Pictures

President Joe Biden is ready Thursday to signal a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date marking the top of slavery in the US, as a federal vacation.

The three:30 p.m. ET signing occasion on the White Home comes two days earlier than Juneteenth itself, which falls on June 19 annually. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are each slated to ship remarks within the East Room, in keeping with the White Home.

Juneteenth Nationwide Independence Day will turn out to be the twelfth authorized public vacation and the primary new one created since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan.

Juneteenth marks the date that the final enslaved African People had been granted their freedom. On that day in 1865, Union troopers led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived within the coastal metropolis of Galveston, Texas, to ship General Order No. 3, formally ending slavery within the state.

The ultimate act of liberation got here months after the Accomplice Military’s give up ended the Civil Struggle, and greater than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865, two months earlier than his proclamation made it to Texas.

The vacation laws handed this week with overwhelming help in each chambers of Congress. The Senate approved the bill unanimously Tuesday night time, and the House passed it in a 415-14 vote. The one votes in opposition to the invoice got here from Republicans.

On the Home flooring earlier than the vote, some GOP lawmakers complained in regards to the identify of the vacation, and others expressed concern about the price of giving the federal workforce one other time without work. Some additionally railed in opposition to Democrats for pushing the invoice to a vote with out first permitting committees to look at the laws and supply amendments.

Nonetheless, most Home Republicans, even those that objected to components of the invoice, ended up voting for it.

The Juneteenth laws was sponsored within the Senate by Edward Markey, D-Mass. The Home model of the invoice, sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, was cosponsored by 166 lawmakers.

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