The national reckoning over monuments reached Congress last week, as the House voted overwhelmingly to remove busts and statues of Confederate figures.
The statue ban, approved in a bipartisan 305-113 vote, was backed by all but one member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation. U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican, was the sole no.
The resolution calls for the removal of “all statues of individuals who voluntarily served” in the Confederacy. Among those targeted is Vice President John C. Calhoun, whose legacy as a supporter of slavery and American Indian removal prompted the renaming of the Minneapolis lake now known as Bde Maka Ska.
Hagedorn, a first-term congressman running for re-election in a swing district in southern Minnesota, said his vote was based on current federal law, which allows each state to choose two statues for display in the U.S. Capitol.
“Empowering the federal government to infringe upon that ability is a violation of the states’ rights and represents federal overreach,” he said.
Despite the vote, the statues are likely to stay put for now. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has called the measure an attempt to “airbrush the Capitol.”