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Pelosi: Remove Confederate Statues From The Capitol

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Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California has voiced support for removing Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol building in response to violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On Aug. 17, Pelosi released a statement asking Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to join her in a bipartisan effort to remove Confederate monuments from the Capitol building, Politico reports.

"The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible," Pelosi said. "If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately."

The House minority leader added, "There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country."

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump took to social media to push back against calls for the removal of Confederate shrines, CNBC reports.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments... So foolish!" Trump tweeted.

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers have called for the removal of Confederate monuments across the nation following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that resulted in death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

On Aug. 16, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker announced that he would introduce legislation to remove the 10 statues honoring Confederate figures from the Capitol.

"I will be introducing a bill to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol building," Booker tweeted. "This is just one step. We have much work to do."

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In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated there were roughly 1,500 Confederate symbols in public spaces across the country, with nearly one-half in the form of statues, according to CNN.

Virginia is host to more Confederate statues than any other state. Following the violence in Charlottesville, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia called for all of the monuments to be torn down, the Washington Examiner reports.

"I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make, I believe the path forward is clear," McAuliffe said.

A spokesperson for Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia said the senator would help Booker's effort to remove Confederate monuments from the Capitol building.

"Sen. Kaine thinks Sen. Booker's proposal is a good idea, and he plans to work with him on the bill and support it," the Kaine spokesperson said.

Sources: CNBCCNN, Politico, Washington Examiner / Featured Image: Lorie Shaull/Flickr / Embedded Images: Bill Koplitz/Wikimedia Commons, Senate Democrats/Flickr

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