WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says members of her party are trying to figure out a legal way to remove Confederate statues from the US Capitol building.
It’s typically up to the states but Congressional leaders in both parties say it’s time for them to go.
In the halls of the US Capitol, not far from Civil War heroes, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant are statues commemorating leaders of the other side of that war.
“Treason, they committed treason against the United States. And their statues are still here because their states put them here,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said.
Pelosi says it’s time for the Capitol’s monuments to people like Robert E. Lee and Confederate president Jefferson Davis to go.
“Our Democratic leadership, they have legislation that would get rid of, we have 11 of them we have our eye on,” she said.
Pelosi says she can’t get rid of Confederate statues on her own. But as Speaker she is allowed to move them within the Capitol. Something she says she’s already done in the past.
“I did do what I had the authority to do which was relegate Robert E. Lee to the crypt,” she said.
“States have the power to select who to come forward,” GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said.
McCarthy says state’s should still decide which historical figures they want displayed.
But in principle, he says he supports replacing Confederate leaders.
“I would encourage those legislatures to change from the path of what they brought forth,” he said.
But McCarthy says some calls to remove monuments go too far.
“I saw a CNN contributor who’s paid thinks the Jefferson memorial and the Washington Monument should be taken down…I just don’t understand what they’re doing,” he said.
He says there’s a line between not venerating Confederate leaders and erasing American history.