US House passes bill to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol

Confederate statues at the Capitol (Gett Images)

The House on Tuesday passed a bill seeking the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol.

The legislation also calls for relocating a bust of the Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that denied enslaved people the right to become citizens.

“This sacred space, this temple of democracy has been defiled for too long,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said before the vote.

“It’s time to remove those symbols of slavery, segregation, and sedition from these halls.” Every Democrat and 67 Republicans supported the measure in the 285-120 vote.

To pass in the Senate, the bill needs the support of every Democrat and 10 Republicans. States pick statues to display in the Capitol, but the bill would make them replace statues honoring people who fought or served in governments that rebelled against the United States.