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Top Senate Democrat gives backing to reparations bill

July 16, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., rides the escalator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, as he heads to a briefing on election security. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., rides the escalator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, as he heads to a briefing on election security. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he supports legislation that would create a commission to study reparations for the descendants of enslaved black people in the United States.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, the New York Democrat on Tuesday called racism “the poison of America” and said that more must be done to address the country’s legacy of racial inequality.

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has introduced a resolution that would create the commission to explore reparations. Last month, a House committee held the first hearing on the issue in a generation.

House Democratic leaders plan to hold a vote on the resolution, but it’s going nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is opposed.

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