- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The White House said Wednesday President Biden supports studying reparations for slavery, but added he is taking a wait-and-see approach before going all-in on specific legislation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Mr. Biden backs the essence of the push on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers on Wednesday took up a Democratic proposal calling for the creation of a committee to study the issue.

“He supported a study of reparations, which I believe is what’s being discussed and studying the continued impacts of slavery, which is being discussed in this hearing on H.R. 40,” Ms. Psaki said, referencing the bill. “He continues to demonstrate his commitment to address the systemic racism that persists today.”

Reparations for slavery became a hot issue during the 2020 Democratic presidential race. 

The push has gained momentum on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, is pushing a bill that would establish a commission to study the impact of slavery.

The bill has the support of 162 House Democrats but no Republicans.

Asked whether Mr. Biden would support that bill, Ms. Psaki said, “we will see what happens through the legislative process.”

She also noted that Mr. Biden has signed an executive order that seeks to address “racial inequality” and “equity” in the federal government.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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