Democrats ‘Warm to the Idea’ of Reparations | NTK Network Democrats ‘Warm to the Idea’ of Reparations

Democrats ‘Warm to the Idea’ of Reparations

The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, announced this week that he backs a bill that would explore reparations for those impacted by slavery in the U.S.

By NTK Staff | 07.18.2019 @10:30am
Democrats ‘Warm to the Idea’ of Reparations

It’s been a surprisingly common refrain on the 2020 campaign trail, but Democrats in the Senate are reportedly seriously considering the idea of studying how the U.S. might administer reparations for those impacted by slavery.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) first introduced the idea of studying reparations in February during a morning radio show appearance. She was followed a week later by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who said she also supported the idea. (She later backtracked during an interview with CNN’s MJ Lee.)

Then in April, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) formally introduced a bill that would “establish a commission to study possible reparations.” Since then, he’s worked to bring on a number of his Senate colleagues and 2020 contenders, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Harris, and Warren.

But Booker scored a major victory this week when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he backed the bill as well.

Schumer, who on Monday excoriated Trump over his comments, told reporters the following day that racism is “the poison of America.” He then pledged to support establishing a commission to study reparations for slavery and discriminatory laws.

“The disparities in race affect everything, not just the obvious things,” Schumer said. “The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow are still with us.”

Still, Booker only has 15 co-sponsors for the bill, which faces long odds in the Republican-controlled Senate. And the issue is deeply unpopular among Americans. A far-left think tank conducted a survey last year that found only 26 percent supported the idea of reparations, while 47 percent opposed.

Last month, Yahoo Finance estimated that Booker’s legislation would cost $17.1 trillion, if enacted. About 30 million Americans would be eligible, per one Duke University economist.

Former President Barack Obama, when he first ran for the White House in 2008, opposed the idea of monetary reparations.

And not all Democratic senators are sold on the idea. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she believed the issue of reparations was “better left alone” last month.

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