Norton Calls on House and Senate Leaders to Establish Special Committee to Work with States to Remove Confederate Figures from the Capitol, Citing 2000 Law that Allows the Change
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today called on House and Senate leaders to create a special committee in Congress to encourage states with statues of confederate figures to take advantage of a 2000 federal law (Pub.L. 106-554) that allows states to replace their statues for any reason. There are 12 Confederate statues in the Statuary Hall Collection from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Norton said that the special committee could help states follow in the footsteps of Alabama, which has already replaced one of its statues of a Confederate soldier with one of Helen Keller, and of Florida, which is working to replace its statue of a Confederate general with a more appropriate alternative.
“When Congress returns from recess, we will have lots of work to do on many issues, and should avoid repeating the acrimony surrounding the removal of Confederate statues we have seen in several states over the last few weeks,” Norton said. “More than 15 years ago, Congress understood that statues in the U.S. Capitol might need to be replaced for any number of reasons. All of the statues, including the statue of Frederick Douglass contributed by the District of Columbia in 2013, were contributions from the states. A special committee would help inform the states of their rights under the 2000 law and help sort out the best approach to an otherwise very divisive issue.”
Each of the 50 states has two statues that are representative of their home states, and the District of Columbia has one.