White House refuses to reveal Biden's stance on federal bill to study ... trends now
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to reveal President Joe Biden's stance on federal reparations for black descendants of slaves, saying the administration feels the issue is best left to Congress.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, a reporter asked Jean-Pierre where the Biden administration stands 'on reparations for slavery, and segregation, and similar historic wrongs' specifically affecting black people in the US.
'We think Congress is the appropriate venue for consideration on such action, and so we're going to leave it there for Congress to decide,' she responded, referring to a recently re-introduced federal bill to study the reparations issue.
The press secretary strongly defended Biden's record on and commitment to racial justice issues, adding, 'but as it relates to the legislation, we want to leave that in the hands of Congress.'
In January, Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, re-introduced S.40, legislation that would establish a federal commission to consider proposals for reparations for African American descendants of slavery.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday the Biden administration feels the issue of reparations for slavery is best left to Congress
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, introduced a companion bill in the House, which would allocate $12 million to fund the study.
The same legislation previously failed to make it out of committee in 2021, when Democrats controlled the Senate and House, and appears unlikely to succeed in the currently divided Congress.
When the reparations bill was first floated two years ago, the White House said Biden supported the idea of studying the issue, but stopped short of saying whether he would sign the legislation.
Still, reparations for slavery have been a topic of growing political significance and divisive debate as a number of cities and states pursue their own proposals on the issue.
It wasn't until George Floyd, a black man, was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020 that reparations movements began gaining significant traction across the country.
San Francisco's proposals are by far the most wide-ranging, after a city-appointed reparations committee issued more than 100 recommendations, which received an enthusiastic response at a hearing earlier this month.
The proposals include payments of $5 million to every eligible black adult, the elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250