UPDATED: Friday, June 24, 10:30 AM EST
Nearly a month after passing a measure to ban Confederate flags from veterans’ cemeteries, the House of Representatives on Thursday reversed course, removing the bill from legislation, reports Politico:
The flag ban was added to the VA funding bill in May by a vote of 265-159, with most Republicans voting against the ban. But Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) both supported the measure. Ryan was commended for allowing a vote on the controversial measure, but has since limited what amendments can be offered on the floor.
In negotiations to reconcile the House funding measure with the Senate bill, the confederate flag provision was dropped. The bill passed the House 239-171.
Of the eight House Republicans Ryan appointed to the conference committee that ultimately stripped the measure, four had voted against the ban on the floor.
The news outlet says a GOP aide refused to discuss the decision that led to the dismissal of the measure.
House Votes To Ban Confederate Flags At Veteran Cemeteries
With a Democratic congressman calling it a symbol of “racism, slavery and division,” the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation banning Confederate flags at cemeteries run by the Veteran Administration, writes NBC News.
In a vote of 265-169, including 84 Republicans, the House voted “to make it illegal to drape or hoist the flag prominently in national veterans’ cemeteries, including over mass graves,” reports the Washington Post. The measure must still be passed by the Senate.
California Democrat Jarred Huffman authored the bill after the tragic shooting death of nine Black worshipers at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June of last year, according to RT.
“Over 150 years ago, slavery was abolished. Why, in the year 2016, are we still condoning displays of this hateful symbol on our sacred national cemeteries?” Huffman said on the House floor, Reuters reports.
The bill does not prevent families from placing small Confederate flags on individual gravesites. State run cemeteries, the Dept. of the Army, or the Dept. of the Interior are also not affected by the ban.