Ted Lieu Praises Joe Biden Over Juneteenth Holiday, Blasts 'All Talk' Donald Trump

Representative Ted Lieu praised President Joe Biden for signing legislation making Juneteenth a national holiday on Thursday, drawing a comparison with former President Trump's pledge to create the holiday.

Lieu, a Democrat who represents California's 33rd congressional district, took to Twitter after Biden had signed the bill, sharing a Reuters article from 2020 about Trump's promise to make June 19 a federal holiday.

"Pleased to see @POTUS accomplish what the former President only talked about, which is to make Juneteenth a holiday," Lieu wrote.

"The former President was all talk and no action. He couldn't even build a wall. In contrast, President Biden actually gets things done," he said.

At a campaign event in Atlanta, Georgia on September 25, 2020, Trump pledged to make Juneteenth a national holiday as part of his pitch to Black voters.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in the U.S. were informed that they were now free. Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that they had been freed and in the following years the date became a day to celebrate emancipation from slavery.

Speaking at the event last year where he promised to make Juneteenth a holiday, Trump told the crowd that Biden "doesn't know Black Americans like I do."

Pleased to see @POTUS accomplish what the former President only talked about, which is to make Juneteenth a holiday. The former President was all talk and no action. He couldn’t even build a wall. In contrast, President Biden actually gets things done.https://t.co/ppaqq2duPD

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 17, 2021

Earlier in 2020, Trump rescheduled his first rally since the start of the pandemic so that it wouldn't fall on June 19 and then told The Wall Street Journal that "nobody had ever heard of" Juneteenth before he brought up the subject.

"I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous," Trump told the newspaper on June 18, 2020. "It's actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it."

Signing the legislation on Thursday, Biden said making Juneteenth a holiday was a "really, really, really important moment in our history."

"This is a day that's profound in my view—profound in weight and profound in power," Biden said. "I'm especially pleased that we showed the nation that we can come together as Democrats and Republicans to commemorate this day with an overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress."

The Senate unanimously approved the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on Tuesday after Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) dropped his previous objection. The House then passed the bill on Thursday by a vote of 415 to 14, with all opposition coming from Republicans.

Juneteenth becomes the first new federal holiday since President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. Juneteenth was already observed in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

Newsweek has asked Representative Ted Lieu and former President Donald Trump's office for comment.

Biden's Signature Makes Juneteenth a National Holiday
President Joe Biden signs the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law in the East Room of the White House on June 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Former President Donald Trump had pledged to make the day a national holiday during the 2020 campaign. Drew Angerer/Getty Images