Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, slammed House Republicans over actions related to the Confederate flag.
A vote on a spending bill was delayed over whether to stop flying the Confederate flag at National Parks.
“It is shameful that on the very day South Carolina acted to take down the flag, House Republicans are standing up for the Confederate Battle Flag and the intolerance it represents,” Luján said on Thursday.
Luján is also the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the top Democratic congressional entity for elections.
Weeks after the a mass shooting at a black South Carolina church and hours after the South Carolina Legislature voted to take down the Confederate battle flag—more commonly cited as the Confederate flag—the House Republicans find themselves in the middle of a controversy over the flying of the flag.
The latest controversy over the flag came after House Republican leadership canceled a vote on a spending bill for the Interior Department over a provision related to the Confederate flag.
From The Hill:
The bill was pulled after the House moved to vote on an amendment to the measure that would continue to allow the Confederate flag to be displayed in certain federal cemeteries.
“Republicans didn’t pull the Interior bill because it cuts funding for clean water. Republicans didn’t pull the bill because it takes us backward in our fight against climate change,” Luján said in a statement. “Republicans pulled the bill because their members would not support something that said Americans will no longer tolerate the symbol of oppression and racism that is the Confederate Battle Flag.”
The amendment would have reversed a vote by the House earlier in the week that would have banned the flying of the flag over the cemeteries.
Of course, that isn’t the end of the controversy over the flag.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali., attempted to rub some salt in the wounds by introducing an amendment that would bar the flying of the Confederate flag in the U.S. Capitol. While Democrats wanted an immediate vote, the amendment was instead sent to a committee.
A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, called Pelosi’s action “a cheap political stunt.”
Friday morning, South Carolina officially pulled down the Confederate flag that had flown officially since the 1960s.