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US Navy Lt. William Edmund Newsome looks at a bronze statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, second from left, in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Al Drago/CQ Roll Call

The House voted 285-120 on Tuesday evening to remove statues honoring people who defended the Confederacy from public displays in Capitol Hill, and to replace a bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, who authored the 1857 Dred Scott decision, with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

The big picture: The House previously passed the measure during nationwide anti-racism protests spurred by George Floyd's death, but the bill stalled in the then Republican-controlled Senate.

Details: The legislation, introduced by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), orders the removal of Confederate statues that are part of the National Statuary Hall collection from the Capitol building.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) invoked the Jan. 6 insurrection when the bill was reintroduced in May, saying its passage would "demonstrate that as Americans we do not celebrate those who seek to divide us."

Worth noting: Each state sends two statues to the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. While Congress can't unilaterally remove the statues, the bill would remove them from public display. Confederate statues would be returned to their respective states, if the the state agrees.

  • Some states have already swapped out Confederate statues they sent to the building. Virginia state legislators in 2020 removed a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from the Capitol.

What to watch: The bill now heads to the Senate and will require 60 votes to pass.

Go deeper

Sep 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate offices closing ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Security fencing outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of a planned "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple congressional offices will be closed Friday amid security precautions ahead of Saturday's rally in support of jailed Jan. 6 rioters, aides who have been instructed to work remotely tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the U.S. Capitol faces its first large-scale security test since the deadly attack, House and Senate offices are taking precautionary measures to protect staff as well as lawmakers.

Trump voices support for Saturday's pro-Capitol riots rally

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Thursday expressed solidarity with people facing prosecution in connection to the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The statement was issued ahead of Saturday's rally to protest the treatment of Capitol rioters. Over 600 known federal defendants face charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.