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Rep. Hakeem Jefferies, the top candidate to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader, supports legislation to study the feasibility of providing reparations to the descendants of enslaved persons.

Jefferies, DN.Y, is one of nearly 200 co-sponsors of a bill to create a national commission to study and develop proposals on reparations for slavery. The 13-member commission would be tasked with presenting appropriate remedies for the negative effects of slavery and discrimination within the United States.


“The call for reparations represents a commitment to enter into a constructive dialogue on the role of slavery and racism in shaping current conditions in our community and American society,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat who wrote the legislation. .

Although the bill has failed to make progress in the Democratic-controlled House since 2019, its support has grown in recent years. Jeffrey was one of the early supporters of the bill when it was first introduced in 2019.

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During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill last year, Jeffries said a study on reparations was the least Congress could do after generations of injustice.

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“We’re not going to move because after slavery, [there was] The rise of Jim Crow and the KKK,” Jeffries said at the time. “And the lynching epidemic. and Plessy v. Ferguson. And in 1921 black Wall Street was destroyed.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is seen as the top candidate to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader in the next Congress.

“It’s a great country, we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go, we’re not perfect, but we’re on our way to a more perfect union,” Jeffries said. “The least we can do is study these historical mistakes. The least Congress can do.”

Jeffries announced his bid to succeed Pelosi last week. The 52-year-old New Yorker has received near-universal support for his ascension. His path was further cleared when Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Washington Democrat who chairs the roughly 100-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, opted not to mount her own run.