The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a hearing to discuss the creation of a commission to explore reparations for black Americans affected by slavery. Lawmakers are considering a bill, HR 40, that would evaluate proposals to aid descendants of former slaves, a possibility that has long been debated. Nearly 60 House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), support the bill, as do Democratic presidential candidates like Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who attended the contentious hearing. Attendees, like author and essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates, criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for saying on Tuesday that reparations are unnecessary. The bill would authorize $12 million for a 13-member commission to examine the effects of slavery and discrimination and make recommendations to Congress.

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