Fact Check: Does Juneteenth Replace Independence Day As A Federal Holiday?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Brandon Mulder, PolitiFact/Austin American-Statesman; radio story produced by Alexandra HartJune 30, 2021 1:10 pm,

From PolitiFact Texas:

Two days before the nation celebrated Juneteenth, the bipartisan bill that recognized June 19 as a federal holiday achieved near unanimous passage as it was voted on in the House.

Among its dissenters was Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Montana, who joined 13 other  members in voting against the bill. After casting his nay vote, Rosendale stated is rationale on Twitter:

“I voted against a bill that would make Juneteenth National Independence Day a federal holiday. One of 14 Republicans to do so. … (The left’s) intent is to replace the Fourth of July with this new day, one that will inevitably focus on America’s darkest moments,” Rosendale tweeted.

Hours later, the sentiment was echoed on Fox News by Tucker Carlson, who said on his June 16 show that “starting this Saturday, our country will get a new Independence Day, to supplant the old one.”

Carlson then took a shot at U.S. Sen. John Cornyn for sponsoring the bill, calling Cornyn a “supposedly conservative senator from Texas” and saying that the bill contributes to “radical social change.”

The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was carried by Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston. But despite its Texas origins, the bill drew opposition from some of the state’s own Republicans. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, said he doesn’t support “more days off for federal employees.” Rep. Chip Roy, a Hays County Republican, voted against the bill arguing that the name should be Juneteenth National Emancipation Day — not Juneteenth National Independence Day.

“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,” Roy argued.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, did not cast a vote.

Arguments of divisiveness aside, does the bill that recognizes Juneteenth as a federal holiday “replace” or “supplant” the Fourth of July Holiday, as Rosendale and Carlson claim? …

Read the full story and see how Rosendale’s claim scored at PolitiFact. And listen to an interview with PolitiFact’s Brandon Mulder in the audio player above.

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