Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
June 16, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the House passed S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act: 

"I was proud to bring to the Floor today the Senate-passed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.  Commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in 1865 and celebrating their freedom is long overdue. Once signed into law, this bill will make Juneteenth the first new federal holiday in thirty-eight years. 
 
"Slavery was a blemish upon our country from its earliest days, and it is a part of our nation’s history that must not be ignored or swept under the rug.  Juneteenth is an opportunity to remember with solemnity all those who endured enslavement and the trauma still felt by their families and communities to this day, as well as an opportunity to pay tribute to all brave individuals who worked for abolition and emancipation.  But, at its core, Juneteenth will always be, first and foremost, a day of joy - a time to celebrate liberty for all and rededicate ourselves to the work of ensuring that America always remains the land of the free.
 
“I want to thank Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Senators Ed Markey and John Cornyn for their bipartisan work to secure this new federal holiday. It is a victory for those of us who believe that Black History must have a more integral role within the teaching and commemoration of American History. Today is a day when all Americans can be proud of Congress for working together to make it clear that Black History matters, that Black Lives Matter, and that our union can always be made a more perfect one."