GOP senators propose replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday

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Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and James Lankford on Wednesday introduced an amendment proposing to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a new federal holiday to avoid putting the U.S. “further in debt.”

Johnson, R-Wis., and Lankford, R-Okla., rolled out their proposal as an amendment to bipartisan legislation rolled out by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, last month that would make Juneteenth a federal 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,” Johnson said Wednesday. “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.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has proposed replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

According to Johnson’s office, the economic cost of a single federal holiday has been estimated to be about $600 million for paid time off for federal employees.

“Juneteenth is a day in our history that redefined the meaning of freedom and equality in America,” Lankford said. “We should celebrate these strides on the federal level while remaining cognizant of the impact the existing 10 federal holidays have on federal services and local businesses.” – READ MORE

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