Wisconsin senator proposes replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as new federal holiday


The Juneteenth flag flies in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, June 17, 2020. The Juneteenth flag commemorating the day that slavery ended in the U.S. will fly over the Wisconsin Capitol for the first time in state’s history, Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(WFRV)–U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is one of two senators proposing scrapping Columbus Day as a federal holiday and replacing it with Juneteenth.

Sen. Johnson and U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) filed an amendment to previously introduced legislation that would make Juneteenth a national holiday.

“In response to a bipartisan effort to give federal workers another day of paid leave by designating Juneteenth a federal holiday, we have offered a counterproposal that does not put us further in debt,” said Sen. Johnson. “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, and least disruptive to Americans’ schedules.”

According to Senate officials, the cost of a single federal holiday has been estimated at around $600 million for paid time off for federal employees.

To view the full text of the amendment, click here.


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