Joe Biden Can Expedite Reparations Without Congress(H.R. 40)

Addison Sarter
3 min readMar 3, 2022

Currently there is a bill being pushed through Congress that would get the process started for reparations to descendants of Black people who were enslaved in America. There is good news and bad news. The bad news is, the senate most likely won’t pass it.

The good news is Joe Biden does NOT need the senate or house of representatives to do it. He can do it himself with an executive order. Before we get too excited, HR 40 is not reparations itself, but a bill that would create a commission to study how slavery, American Apartheid (Jim Crow), and institutional racism has affected Black people. The bill states that after this study, then reparations would be proposed.

As stated by, Theodore R. Johnson, a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, Joe Biden has the legal power to create an executive order to make this happen. Somebody might say, “well executive orders can be reversed by the next president.” This particular executive order can not be reversed. If a commission studies the details surrounding reparations, the next president can not reverse the information the commission learned.

The mid term elections have started and in about a year from now, new presidential candidates will announce that they are running and will begin campaigning. On top of that, there is a good chance Trump may run again in 2024. This means that in one year, people will be saying… “ Forget reparations, lets first worry about defeating Trump and making sure he doesn’t win again!”

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I’m sure people might even say “let’s not worry about reparations.. we are on the brink of war.”

It should not take a year or even months to study , especially with the informative literature on slavery, Jim crow, institutional racism that is available now through the 1619 project , the book the New Jim Crow, and the netflix documentary, “13th”. The list goes on.

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