Sen. Booker seeks passage of bill to remove Confederate statues from US Capitol

Sen. Cory Booker is seeking the passage of a bill to have statues honoring Confederate leaders removed from the United States Capitol building.
The Democratic senator argued his bill on the Senate floor on Thursday.
“The continued presence of these statues in the halls is an affront to African Americans and the ideals of our nation,” Booker argued. “When we proclaim this to be not just a place of liberty and justice for all, but as we seek to be a more beloved nation, a kinder nation, a nation of equal respect and equal dignity, it is an assault on all of those ideals."
Booker tried to expedite passage of the bill, but was blocked by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt who objected.
Blunt said he is open to holding a hearing on the bill, but he opposed immediate action because it would upend a process set in law governing the display of state-sponsored statues in the Capitol.
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Blunt, a member of the GOP leadership team, also said he is heartened by states such as Arkansas that are replacing Confederate statues on their own.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she is ordering the removal from the Capitol of portraits honoring four previous House speakers who served in the Confederacy.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.