Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has cosponsored an amendment to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a new federal holiday.
The measure was introduced Wednesday as an amendment to Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday. Johnson is co-sponsoring the amendment with Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).
Johnson claimed that his “sole motivation” for offering the amendment “is to prevent giving federal workers another paid holiday and incurring the additional cost.”
“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,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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.”
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.
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) July 2, 2020
Despite the amendment, Johnson insisted that he does not “support efforts to erase America’s rich history.”
“It is not deprecating Christopher Columbus’ achievements or expressing any value judgement regarding his place in history,” he added.
Lankford noted that the cost of a single federal holiday is an estimated $600 million in paid time off for federal employees.
“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. We can reduce these impacts by replacing Columbus Day as a federal holiday with Juneteenth, America’s second independence day,” Lankford said in a press release.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson excoriated Johnson and Langford during his opening monologue Wednesday night.
“It’s easier to give them what they want, so that’s what they’re doing,” said Carlson. “Today they introduced legislation to abolish Columbus Day. They want to delete it from the national calendar and replace it with Juneteenth. This is a big change. Americans have celebrated Columbus Day as long as we’ve had a country. Columbus Day is a celebration of the nation itself. That’s why it’s a national holiday.”
Carlson noted that CNN never mentioned “the word Juneteenth a single time” on air between 2012 and 2017, while former President Barack Obama “never tweeted about Juneteenth once” during his presidency.
“But paradoxically – and this is odd – the people who are pushing Juneteenth on the country do not consider Abraham Lincoln a hero,” said Carlson. “Confused? Well that’s the nature of a hysteria outbreak. Nothing makes sense. Sens. Johnson and Langford may be a little confused as well. They describe themselves as conservatives, improbable as that may seem. On some level, they may suspect that all the yelling about Columbus Day and Juneteenth doesn’t really have much to do with emancipation or civil rights. More likely it’s just another way to humiliate and demoralize Americans. On some level, they know that but they’re ignoring it. It’s just easier to do what the hysteria patients command. Unless, of course, their voters notice them doing it.”
– – –