Removal of Confederate Statues Inserted Into Funding Bill

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
July 7, 2020Updated: July 7, 2020

A House panel on Monday released a funding bill that includes a directive to remove all Confederate statues and busts from public areas in the U.S. Capitol.

The House Appropriations Committee included language directing the architect of the building “to remove statues or busts in the U.S. Capitol that represent figures who participated in the Confederate Army or government, as well as the statues of individuals with unambiguous records of racial intolerance,” a summary released by the panel said.

Statues of three men—Charles Aycock, John C. Calhoun, and James Paul Clarke—were specifically mentioned, while the bust of a fourth, Roger B. Taney, was also singled out in the draft (pdf).

The statues and bust should be kept in storage until arrangements are made to return them to the states that sent them to the capitol, according to the bill.

Aycock, a Democrat, served as the governor of North Carolina from 1901 to 1905. The statue was given by the state in 1932.

Epoch Times Photo
House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) speaks in Washington on May 28, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Calhoun, a Democrat, of South Carolina was vice president from 1825 to 1832. His statue arrived in Washington in 1910.

Clarke, a Democrat, was a U.S. senator representing Arkansas for 13 years. His statue arrived in 1921.

Taney, who switched from the Federalist Party to the Democratic-Republican Party, was the chief justice of the Supreme Court for nearly three decades. A statue of Taney was removed from outside the Maryland State House in Annapolis in 2017 by order of Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican.

Each state sends two statues to be presented in the U.S. Capitol and the law at present forbids removal of the statues without the state’s approval.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) started pushing to remove Confederate statues last month, saying they “pay homage to hate.”

Epoch Times Photo
Two women take pictures in front of the statue of US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney in a photograph before it was removed, in Annapolis, Md., on Aug. 16, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library, argued that states have already started replacing some of the statues in question. He later blocked a bill that would remove all Confederate statues from the capitol.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in March introduced legislation with Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) to remove the bust of Taney and replace it with a bust of Thurgood Marshall, former associate justice of the Supreme Court.

The representatives noted that Taney wrote the majority opinion in the Dred Scott v. Sanford case, which said African Americans couldn’t be citizens of the United States.

“In Maryland we made the decision to remove a statue of Taney from the State House grounds, reflecting his shameful contribution to the evil system of slavery and its defense, and we ought to do the same here,” Hoyer said in a statement.

Hoyer said a vote on the legislation will take place later this month.

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