WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel has advanced a decades-long effort to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves, approving legislation Wednesday night that would create a commission to study the issue.
The 13-person commission would examine slavery and discrimination in the U.S. from 1619 to the present, as well as present possible remedies, like compensation and a formal apology.
The commission would also make recommendations as to appropriate ways to educate the American public about its findings.
It’s the first time the House Judiciary Committee has acted on the legislation, which was first introduced nearly 30 years ago.
Still, prospects for final passage remain poor in such a closely divided Congress.
The vote to advance the measure to the full House passed 25-17 after a lengthy and often passionate debate that stretched late into the night.