Full List of Republicans Who Voted Against Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

The House has voted overwhelmingly to recognize June 19, or Juneteenth, as a federal holiday, with only 14 Republicans rejecting the motion.

The Senate Bill 475, entitled the "Juneteenth National Independence Day Act," was passed by a 415-14 vote on Wednesday, clearing the way for President Joe Biden to sign it into law.

The holiday will mark the date of June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were informed that they were free following the end of the Civil War more than two months prior.

"As I have said many times, Juneteenth is as significant to African Americans as July 4 is to all Americans," Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who sponsored the House version of the bill, said in a statement after the vote was passed.

"Juneteenth honors the end of the 400 years of suffering African Americans endured under slavery and celebrates the legacy of perseverance that has become the hallmark of the African American experience in the struggle for equality."

The only people who voted against making Juneteenth a federal holiday were GOP lawmakers.

Several of them had also recently voted against legislation to award the police officers who protected the Capitol building during the January 6 attack with Congressional Gold Medals.

Full list of Republicans who voted against Juneteenth bill

  • Andy Biggs, Arizona
  • Mo Brooks, Alabama
  • Andrew Clyde, Georgia
  • Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee
  • Paul Gosar, Arizona
  • Ronny Jackson, Texas
  • Doug LaMalfa, California
  • Thomas Massie, Kentucky
  • Tom McClintock, California
  • Ralph Norman, South Carolina
  • Mike Rogers, Alabama
  • Matt Rosendale, Montana
  • Chip Roy, Texas
  • Tom Tiffany, Wisconsin

A number of Republican lawmakers explained their reasoning for not wanting to make June 19 a federal holiday.

"Let's call an ace an ace. This is an effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory the reigning ideology of our country," Representative Matt Rosendale said prior to the vote.

"Since I believe in treating everyone equally, regardless of race, and that we should be focused on what unites us rather than our differences, I will vote no," Rosendale added.

In a statement, Rosendale said commemorating the last of the slaves being told they were free is part of a "larger hard-left agenda to enshrine the racial history of this country as the prime aspect of our national story."

Representative Chip Roy said that he could not vote for the bill because the holiday should instead be called "Juneteenth National Emancipation [or Freedom or otherwise] Day."

Roy added: "This name needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one's skin.

"We asked Democrats to work with us on the floor to change the name to one that properly recognizes the importance of the day without creating a separate 'Independence Day,' however, Democrats refused. As a country, we must stop dividing ourselves by race and unite in our common pursuit of the ideals set forth in our Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal."

Representative Thomas Massie also argued on the House floor that referring to Juneteenth as a national independence day would confuse people.

"I fully support creating a day to celebrate the abolition of slavery, a dark portion of our nation's history. However, naming this day 'national independence day' will create confusion and push Americans to pick one of those two days as their independence day based on their racial identity," Massie said.

"Why can't we name this 'emancipation day' and come together as Americans and celebrate that day together as Americans?"

Juneteenth vote
People march from the The National Museum of African American History and Culture to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to mark the Juneteenth holiday June 19, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The House has voted to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday, with 14 Republicans opposing the motion. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images