On the same day South Carolina made another step towards removing the racist Confederate flag from state grounds, House Republicans made a night time gambit to defend the stars and bars.
Roll Call reports that at about 8:30 on Wednesday night, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) made a motion to block two amendments to the 2016 Interior-Environment spending bill (HR 2822). Calvert is the chairman of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.
The amendments did the following:
- Block federal funds for being used to decorate graves in federal cemeteries with the racist Confederate flag
- Bar the National Park service from using our federal dollars to contract with gift shops that sell items with imagery of the racist Confederate flag
As he offered the amendment to undo the anti-racism amendments passed by the Democrats, Calvert said, “This amendment will codify existing National Park Service policy and directives with regard to the decoration of cemeteries and concession stands.”
Democrats slammed him for the move. Rep Betty McCollum (D-MN) said, “After the murder of nine black parishioners, I never thought that the U.S. House of Representatives would join those who would want to see this flag flown,” adding, “for House Republicans it appears the cost of getting the votes to pass this terrible Interior-Environment Appropriations bill is to literally wrap themselves in this banner of racism.” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) called it “disgraceful.”
Here is the video of Calvert offering the pro-Confederate amendment and Rep. McCollum rebuking it. The bill will be up for a vote on Thursday, July 9: