The laws has gained momentum for the reason that large Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd final yr and the Democrats’ takeover of the White House and Congress.

But Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson blocked the bill in 2020, saying that the day off for federal staff would value US taxpayers a whole lot of tens of millions of {dollars}. Johnson dropped his objection this week regardless of his considerations, paving the way in which for the bill’s passage within the Senate.

“Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate,” mentioned Johnson in a assertion. “While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter.”

The measure must go the House and be signed by President Joe Biden to change into legislation.

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger introduced in Galveston, Texas, the top of slavery in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1980, Juneteenth grew to become a Texas state holiday. In the a long time since, each state however South Dakota got here to formally commemorate Juneteenth, however solely a handful of states observe it as a paid holiday.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee are among the many members of Congress who led the hassle to to make Juneteenth the twelfth federal holiday.