Juneteenth may become a federal holiday at the expense of another under an amendment proposed by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. Johnson and fellow Republican U.S. Senator James Lankford are pushing for the holiday celebrating the news that African-Americans in Texas were free of slavery back in 1865 to replace Columbus Day as a federal holiday. Johnson is supportive of celebrating Juneteenth and against the current practice of erasing certain aspects of American history. He says the amendment was about saving the federal government money.
Johnson says he would have rather set up a commission to come up with options moving forward, pointing out that it took 15 years of discussion to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a federal holiday. Some companies and state governments have already taken steps to make Juneteenth a paid day off.