Missouri Rep Announces $14T Reparations Bill

Reparations efforts are gaining traction, but the idea remains widely unpopular
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2023 12:49 AM CDT
Cori Bush Introduces $14T Reparations Bill
From left, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., talk about the Equal Rights Amendment during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 27, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Legislation introduced by Rep. Cori Bush calls for $14 trillion in reparations to Black Americans. The Missouri Democrat says the legacy of chattel slavery and the discriminatory policies, systems, and laws that came after continues to affect "millions of Black people" today, citing the worse health outcomes and infant mortality rates Black Americans face, as well as voter suppression and the wealth gap between Black and white Americans. "We know that we continue to live under slavery's vestiges. We know how slavery has perpetuated Jim Crow. We know how slavery's impacts live on today," Bush said, per NPR. The reparations would go to the descendants of enslaved Africans and people of African descent, the Hill reports.

Bush was joined by fellow Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee, Jamaal Bowman, and Rashida Tlaib in announcing the legislation Wednesday. Reparations have been discussed since slavery ended, but little movement has happened; NPR notes that when it comes to congressional efforts, "similar language about reparations has been introduced in every legislative session since 1989," and the Washington Post says reparations advocates have experienced "years of frustration." It wasn't until 2021 that Evanston, Illinois, became the first city to create a reparations plan for Black residents. California is currently considering a reparations plan, as are more than a dozen other states and cities, but all of the outlets point out the idea remains "broadly unpopular" in the wider population. (Read more Cori Bush stories.)

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