Democrats Say They Support Reparations Study; Booker Introduces Bill
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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill on Monday to create a commission that would study slavery reparation proposals.
The legislation would address "head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country," according to a statement by Booker.
The issue of reparations is turning into a litmus test for Democrats. Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday he would "of course" sign a study bill on the issue, aligning himself with other potential and declared Democratic candidates.
Booker, who is also making a run for president, was praised by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson, D-Tex., for sponsoring the legislation, which is the Senate version of her bill. Both lawmakers are black.
"I salute his dedication to elevating the discussion of reparations and reparatory justice, and look forward to the dialogue that this issue engenders on and off Capitol Hill," Jackson said in a statement.
CNN reported that besides Booker and Sanders, also supporting the legislation are U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Maryland congressman John Delaney; U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is weighing an independent run for the White House, said during a Fox Town Hall that he would not support reparations and would "rather look forward" by making "significant investments" in education.
A reparations bill was first introduced in 1989 by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who has since retired.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.