WASHINGTON (KFDX/KJTL) — Fourteen Republican U.S. Representatives voted against legislation on Wednesday evening to make Juneteenth a federal holiday and District 13 Representative Ronny Jackson was among those.
Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved Black people learned they were free, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Southern states.
Under the legislation, the federal holiday would be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.
A name House Republicans objected to calling the holiday out of concerns of confusion with Independence Day on July 4 and for Congressman Jackson, not supporting another day off for federal employees.
“For example, over 60% of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job performance. I do not know of any other organization that would reward employees with additional days off with that poor of a job evaluation,” Jackson said in a statement.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which is the human resources office for the federal government, tweeted Thursday morning that ‘most federal employees will observe the holiday tomorrow, June 18.’
Congressman Ronny Jackson’s full statement regarding his no vote on S.475, Juneteenth National Independence Day Act:
“Juneteenth is an important part of our history, especially in Texas. I support Texas’ Juneteenth holiday and I support all Americans who celebrate it. However, I do not support more days off for federal employees. Many Americans feel like the federal government is not doing a good job for them as it is. For example, over 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job performance. I do not know of any other organization that would reward employees with additional days off with that poor of a job evaluation. We need to create jobs, grow our economy and combat global threats like China, not create more days off for people who have been totally inadequate at delivering for the American people.”Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX-13)