House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced a bill penalizing state and local governments that do not protect public statues and monuments. The bill would disqualify state and local governments from receiving federal historic preservation and transit capital investment grants if they don’t protect statues and monuments being targeted by left-wing mobs.
The bill was introduced with House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (OH-R), and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (MO-R).
Just now → I introduced the Protect America’s Statues Act to cut funding from cities and states that refuse to restore order.
Leftwing mobs are trying to erase history by destroying statues of George Washington, General Grant, and Christopher Columbus. Enough is enough.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 16, 2020
“Public monuments are indispensable because they tell the American story. It is wrong to erase our history. We should be learning from it,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Instead, leftwing mobs in cities across the country are destroying statues of General Grant, St. Serra, Christopher Columbus, and abolitionists.”
McCarthy has been an outspoken advocate for historical statues and monuments now at the mercy of Marxist fringe groups. Several weeks ago McCarthy criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not standing up to the mobs who have been tearing down statues of St. Junipero Serra in her own state of California.
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The destruction of the beloved saint’s statues created a PR fiasco. The Spanish Embassy to the United States was deeply offended and pleaded with authorities like Pelosi to do something about the disrespect shown to the shared history of Spain and the United States. Additionally, the actions of the mobs and inaction of leaders like Leader Pelosi were of particular offense to tens of thousands of Hispanic-Americans, Pope Francis, and Catholics worldwide who honor the saint for, among other things, his advocacy for the rights of Native Americans and for making one of the first recorded arguments against capital punishment in Western culture.
Last week, the 200-year-old historic San Gabriel Mission, founded by St. Junipero Serra, was burned, potentially as an act of arson by rioters. The gutting of the church occurs alongside a national trend to vandalize and terrorize of Catholic churches and religious statues in the name of BLM and racial justice.
McCarthy said in his statement:
This is lawlessness in its purest and most unacceptable form. Yet too many liberal mayors and governors won’t restore order or arrest the rioters, the most basic duties of government. Many seem to agree with Speaker Pelosi, who excused mob rule as ‘people will do what they do,’ as if that absolves them of their failure to follow the law. If state and local officials will not protect historical monuments, then Congress must and will. My legislation has real consequences for states and cities: no order, no funding. It is time to respect our laws, protect our history, and punish the statue smashers.
Last month, President Trump signed a presidential executive order cracking down on individuals caught vandalizing or destroying statues, which he publicized at his Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore.
At the same time, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee on Monday released a draft of a funding bill that includes a provision to remove statues and busts of those who served the Confederacy or have “unambiguous records of racial intolerance” from the U.S. Capitol.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R), told reporters House Democrats’ plan to “airbrush the Capitol” are “clearly a bridge too far”.
It has yet to be seen whether McCarthy’s bill will be passed or if it will encourage state and local authorities to protect and preserve monuments and statues as archives of U.S. history.