Slavery reparations have been a hot topic as of late, but the issue hasn't made it to the House floor since 1989. This may change, as a bill is set to be up for debate and a vote by the Judiciary Committee.
As Fox News reports, a reparations bill introduced last year by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee garnered 135 co-sponsors, more than half the House Democratic caucus. Lee, who is the current bill's lead co-sponsor, stated:
"Through this legislation, we will finally be able to confront the stark societal disparities occurring in the African American community today and provide solutions."
There has been some disagreement in the past regarding who specifically should receive reparations, and what form those reparations would take.
According to Fox News, The current bill "would not authorize direct cash payments to Black Americans but would study the implications of slavery and identify a form of restitution".
The idea of reparations is opposed by many Republicans, but Committee chairman, Representative Jerry Nadler, assured that it is "not intended to divide" but to "bring us closer to racial understanding and advancement."
In a White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden "would support a study of reparations", but that he also "understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime".