Statue Removal Measure Heads To Senate Floor

Jan 27, 2016

Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith
Credit unknown

A measure aimed at replacing the statue of confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith in Congress’ Statuary Hall is headed for the Senate floor.  But it seems likely to face a tough vote.  Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) wants a better explanation before disqualifying Smith.

“There’s no—there’s no indictment of him, no criticism of him,” Gaetz says.  “But yet he will be the only person in Florida history who is exempted from this analysis, who could not be included if indeed he were found to be a distinguished Floridian deserving of a place in statuary hall.”

Powerful Republicans Joe Negron (R-Stuart) and Tom Lee (R-Brandon) joined Gaetz in opposition to the bill.  Gaetz and Lee have previously served as Senate President, and Negron is in line to lead the chamber next year.  But the committee approved the plan to remove the statue. 

The House companion measure is awaiting its final committee hearing.