Juneteenth Independence Day will quickly develop into America’s first new federal vacation in practically 40 years now that the House and Senate have each handed laws giving federal staff a time off on June 19.

By a vote of 415 to 14, the House permitted the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on Wednesday after the Senate unanimously handed the invoice on Tuesday. All that’s left is for President Joe Biden so as to add his signature.

“What I see here today is racial divide being crushed this day under a momentous vote that brings together people who understand the value of freedom,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) stated at a press convention Wednesday. “That is what Juneteenth is all about.”

Jackson Lee and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) first pushed to make Juneteenth a federal vacation final 12 months. The Senate model of the invoice didn’t get a vote, however when Cornyn and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) reintroduced it this 12 months, the measure shortly garnered 60 cosponsors, together with 18 Republicans ― that means it had sufficient help to beat a filibuster.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) had stated he would object to the invoice, which might’ve compelled Democrats to push the laws via a prolonged “cloture” course of ― one thing Democrats appeared like they didn’t need to do ― however in a surprising reversal, Johnson dropped his objection.

“It sounds like Congress wants to do it, so I’m not going to stand in the way,” Johnson advised HuffPost. He stated he supported celebrating Juneteenth and was solely involved {that a} time off for staff would price the federal authorities cash.