Two Republican senators want to trade the Columbus Day federal holiday for one on Juneteenth.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) recently introduced legislation that would make Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery, a federal holiday. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) said they dont want an additional federal day off, citing concerns about the rising national debt.
“We support celebrating emancipation with a federal holiday, but believe we should eliminate a current holiday in exchange. We chose Columbus Day as a holiday that is lightly celebrated,” Johnson said in a statement announcing an amendment (pdf) to Cornyns bill.
The senator said his motivation centers around not giving federal workers another paid holiday. He stressed he does not want to deprecate Christopher Columbuss achievements.
Lankford said people should be aware of the impact the 10 existing federal holidays have on federal services and local businesses.
“We can reduce these impacts by replacing Columbus Day as a federal holiday with Juneteenth, Americas second independence day. Im hopeful the Senate will support this amendment to celebrate this significant day in our nations history,” he said in a statement.
According to the senators offices, only 21 states recognize Columbus Day as a paid holiday.
They pointed to Franklin County, Ohio, announcing last month that the Columbus Day holiday would be Read More From Source