The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill to create a commission to study reparations for descendants of slaves, moving closer to a full vote in the House more than three decades after the bill was first introduced.
The committee voted 25-17 to send the legislation to the full House. The vote on the measure was the first since late former Rep. John Conyers introduced it in 1989.
The bill, if passed, would establish a 13-member commission tasked with studying the effects of slavery and racial discrimination, as well as develop proposals for providing reparations to African Americans.
While a specific monetary value on reparations isn’t outlined in the bill, it does focus on investigating and presenting the facts and truth about the unprecedented centuries of brutal enslavement of African people, racial healing, and transformation.
The commission’s mission includes identifying the role of federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, forms of discrimination in public and private sectors against freed slaves and their descendants, and lingering adverse effects of slavery on living African Americans and on society.