Wisconsin Senator Who Stalled Passing of Juneteenth Bill Booed at Juneteenth Event

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who stalled the passing of Juneteenth as federal holiday, was booed at a celebration commemorating the holiday.


United States Senator Ron Johnson (Republican of Wisconsin) speaks to journalists with joint a press conference with United States Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat of Connecticut) (not seen) after their meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, outside the Presidential Office in Kiev, Ukraine, on 5 September, 2019. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who stalled the passing of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, was booed at a celebration commemorating the day in Milwaukee.

According to WDJT, the senator was heckled by the crowd while he spoke to reporters. “We don’t need you out here,” one person can be heard saying in a video. The frustration with Johnson comes after the politician objected to making Juneteenth a nationally recognized holiday. He argued that giving federal employees another paid day off would be too costly. “Last year, a bill was introduced to celebrate Juneteenth by providing an additional paid holiday for 2 million federal employees at a cost of $600 million per year,” Johnson said in a statement. “Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate.”

He went on to say that he found it “strange” that “taxpayers [providing] federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery.” He did not object to the passing of the bill, however, citing “no appetite” in Congress to ruminate further on the matter.

Other reporters and I were interviewing @RonJohnsonWI at Milwaukee’s #Juneteenth celebration when a crowd booed Johnson. As the media availability ended, people continued expressing disapproval when he left. This continued as he made his way through the event. pic.twitter.com/NNhs3BJ33s

— Victor Jacobo (@victorjacobo_) June 19, 2021

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th,  is commemorated by many Black Americans as an independence day that celebrates the end of slavery, when Union Army general Gordon Granger informed enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas that they were free due to the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years prior.

On Thursday, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. “It’s simply not enough just to commemorate Juneteenth,” he said. “After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality. It only marked the beginning. To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we have to continue towards that promise because we’ve not gotten there yet.”

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