House approves bill marking Juneteenth a federal holiday, sending it to Biden’s desk

House approves bill marking Juneteenth a federal holiday, sending it to Biden’s desk

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill to establish June 19th, known colloquially as Juneteenth, a federal holiday.

The vote passed 415-14, with all dissenting votes coming from Republican members of the chamber.

Among the members who voted no were Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Mo Brooks, R-Ala., Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Tom McClintock, R-Calif., Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Mike Rogers, R-Ala., Matthew M. Rosendale, Sr., R-Mt., Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Thomas Tiffany, R-Wis.

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The legislation, which passed the Senate earlier this week, will head to President Biden’s desk for his expected signature.

Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865, which was when the last slaves in the U.S. learned they were free following the Civil War. Federal troops arrived in Texas on the date to ensure that slaves were given their freedom. 

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier in 1963.

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Texas was the first state to observe the holiday.

A majority of states already observe Juneteenth as a holiday, but it is not observed in an official capacity in many cases.