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Carl, Brooks vote against removing Confederate statues from U.S. Capitol

A minority of 67 Republicans joined with House Democrats in support, while 120 Republicans voted against the resolution.

A flag flies outside the U.S. Capitol Building. (STOCK PHOTO)

Congressmen Jerry Carl, R-Alabama, and Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, on Tuesday issued statements following their votes against removing historical statues from the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to banish all statues of former Confederates from the Capitol grounds.

“One of my first actions in Congress was introducing the American Heritage Protection Act, which would protect our nation’s history from being erased or altered on the whims of government bureaucrats,” Carl said. “Since then, the far left has continued with their attempts to remove, replace, and reconstruct our nation’s history.”

“The 1864 law that establishes the National Statuary Collection defers to states the power to determine who they wish to honor with a Capitol statue,” Brooks said. “And that makes perfect sense. Just as it would be wrong for Alabama and other states to dictate to New York and California who they must honor, it is similarly wrong and repulsive for New York, California, or other states to dictate to Alabama who we must honor. Yet, HR3005 seeks to do exactly that by empowering other states to dictate to a single state who that state can, or cannot, honor.”

“I voted against these misguided attempts to remove statues of historical figures from the United States Capitol because I believe the best path forward involves learning from our complex history and avoiding judgment of historical figures based on today’s standards,” Carl said. “Now more than ever, we should be focused on protecting our history so we as Americans can engage in honest, accurate, and unifying discussions that enable us to move forward as a nation.”

“Cancel culture and historical revisionism are precursors to dictatorial government and the destruction of individual liberty and freedom by elitists who claim they know more than regular citizens and, hence, should be empowered to dictate what regular citizens can and cannot think or do,” Brooks said. “Ultimately, it’s all about political power in the hands of a dictatorial few coupled with the loss of freedom and liberty by the masses.”

The U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Collection has 100 statues, two from each state. Alabama’s two statutes are Helen Keller and Joe Wheeler, the only Confederate general to later become a United States general. In addition to his Confederate service, Wheeler oversaw Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charge up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery alongside many of America’s other heroes. Alabama also has a third statute honoring Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks. Both the Wheeler and Parks statutes are in places of prominence in the old House Chamber, now known as Statuary Hall. Helen Keller is prominently honored and displayed in the Capitol Visitor’s Center.

The 1864 law establishing the National Statuary Collection provides that each state may “furnish statues…of deceased persons who have been citizens thereof, and illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services such as each State may deem to be worthy of this national commemoration.”

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Barry Moore, R-Alabama, said on social media: “Woke culture has gone TOO FAR. The National Archives’ ‘racism task force’ released a report claiming that the National Archives’ own Rotunda, which houses the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, is an example of ‘structural racism.’ The report says the display of our founding documents must be ‘reimagined’ with ‘trigger warnings.’”

“WOW. You just can’t make this stuff up anymore, folks,” Moore said. “The Left will stop at nothing to rewrite our nation’s history. We must stop their radical attempts before it’s too late.”

“I reject cancel culture and historical revisionism,” Brooks said. “I reject Socialist Democrat intolerance. I support federalism and a state’s right to decide for itself who it should honor. As such, I will proudly vote ‘No’ on HR3005. Alabama, not New Yorkers, Californians, or anyone else, should decide who we wish to honor in Alabama’s contribution to the National Statuary Collection. Socialist Democrat states should butt out!”

HR3005 directs the Joint Committee on the Library to replace the bust of Roger Brooke Taney in the Old Supreme Court Chamber of the United States Capitol with a bust of Thurgood Marshall to be obtained by the Joint Committee on the Library and to remove certain statues from areas of the United States Capitol which are accessible to the public, to remove all statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in the United States Capitol, and for other purposes.

The House passed HR3005 in a 285 to 120 vote. A minority of 67 Republicans joined with House Democrats in support, while 120 Republicans voted against the resolution.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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