HELENA (KPAX)— Montana’s only congressman, Republican Matt Rosendale, voted “no” on the bill to make June 19 a national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
The bill passed the U.S. House Wednesday and will be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.
In a statement, Rosendale said the bill is part of a “hard-left agenda to enshrine the racial history of this country as the prime aspect of our national story.”
“They do not want to highlight all the good this country has brought to the world – flight, our Constitution, the defeat of communism and Nazism, the Internet – but, instead, our racial sins,” he continued. “America is good, and efforts to cast the country as otherwise should be opposed.”
June 19, or “Juneteenth,” began as a state holiday in Texas in 1980 and is commemorated in most states. It celebrates the day in 1865 that Union soldiers arrived in Texas to inform slaves there that they were free, two months after the end of the Civil War.
The bill before Congress declares June 19 – this Saturday — as Juneteenth National Independence Day.
Rosendale said he believes in treating everyone equally and that the country should be focused on what unites us, rather than our differences.
“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,” he said.