Members of the House of Representatives held a hearing Wednesday to consider legislation that would establish a commission to make proposals for reparations to be paid to African-Americans and decide whether a national apology for slavery should be issued.
The hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties comes as President Joe Biden has said multiple times since his inauguration that the United States is systemically racist.
“I think we have to deal with systemic racism that exists throughout society,” Biden said at a CNN town hall Tuesday night.
Further, on Sunday, Biden signed an executive order focused in part on combating the “scourge of systemic racism” and the “profound polarization” in the U.S.
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, the primary sponsor of H.R. 40, made clear the reparations commission the bill would create is not merely to engage in an academic