The HR 40 bill -- now coming to the Senate -- was introduced in the house by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) but did not call for black Americans to receive payments.
Booker, a 2020 presidential hopeful, is backing a companion version of the bill filed Monday, to explore reparation proposals for African-American descendants of slavery.
"I am proud to introduce legislation that will finally address many of our country's policies—rooted in a history of slavery and white supremacy—that continue to erode Black communities, perpetuate racism and implicit bias, and widen the racial wealth gap," Booker said on Twitter.
"Real economic justice can’t be color-blind; the policies that got us here weren’t. It’s not enough to atone for the past if we’re not confronting the bias of the present."
The bill is intended to "address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery, its subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes."
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