The U.S. House voted to accept a Democratic sponsored amendment to a veterans affairs bill that limits the display of the Confederate battle flag at national cemeteries. The 265-159 vote as opposed by a majority of Republicans, including the Georgia GOP delegation. The measure was also opposed by 2nd District Rep. Sanford Bishop.
According to a story in The Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan allowed the vote opposed by his caucus in order to move the first appropriations bill of the year. A similar amendment last year stopped progress on the bill.
The measure was not appreciated by one staffer for Rep. Lynn Westmoreland. From the Hill story:
“You know who else supports destroying history so that they can advance their own agenda? ISIL. Don’t be like ISIL. I urge you to vote NO,” Westmoreland’s legislative director, Pete Sanborn, wrote in a missive provided to The Hill, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.
He signed the email as “Yours in freedom from the PC police.”
A spokeswoman for Westmoreland later distanced the lawmaker from his staffer’s comments.
The amendment allows family members of those buried at a national cemetery to display small Confederate flags at graves on Memorial Day and Confederate Memorial Day.