July 28, 2021

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Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin | TheHill – The Hill

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) was met with boos while attending a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday in Milwaukee, Wisc., WDJT reported.

According to WDJT, the Republican senator was heckled by crowd members while speaking to reporters. 

At one point during the video, a bystander can be heard saying “We don’t need you out here.” 

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The resistance to Johnson comes after the lawmaker issued a statement objecting to making Juneteenth a nationally recognized holiday earlier this week. 

“Last year, a bill was introduced to celebrate Juneteenth by providing an additional paid holiday for 2 million federal employees at a cost of $600 million per year. They attempted to pass the bill without debate or amendment process,” Johnson said. 

“Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate.  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. Therefore, I do not intend to object,” he added.

However, the senator later dropped his objection. 

Juneteenth, celebrated every year on June 19, recognizes the day in 1865 when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, emancipating the remaining enslaved people in the state. For enslaved people in Texas at the time, freedom came more than two years after former President Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation. 

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill to recognize Juneteenth in their respective chambers last June, but it didn’t gain momentum. 

The bill was later reintroduced in February, and it was taken up by Congress this week. The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation by unanimous consent, and later, the House passed the bill Wednesday.  

On Thursday, President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy ‘continues to work effectively’ keeps me ‘up at night’ New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. However, Biden noted that “it’s not – it’s simply not enough just to commemorate Juneteenth.”

“After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality, it only marked the beginning. To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we have to continue towards that promise because we’ve not gotten there yet,” Biden said.

WDJT reported that Johnson also attended a similar celebration in Kenosha on Saturday.

On Twitter, Johnson said that he was dedicating the first Juneteenth holiday to Pastor Jerome Smith.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Smith worked with Johnson to create the a faith-based program that connects people with job opportunities. He died from coronavirus complications in April.

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