House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday joined the growing chorus of Democrats calling for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol.
Calling the monuments a “reprehensible” symbol of a racist era, Pelosi urged Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP leaders to support an effort to purge the statues from the building.
“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Ryan’s office quickly responded, noting that it’s the states, not Congress, that decide which statues should be placed in the Capitol.
“These are decisions for those states to make,” said Doug Andres, spokesman for Speaker Ryan.
Pelosi released the statement hours after President Trump lamented the removal of “beautiful” Confederate monuments around the country. Trump argued the nation was seeing its history and culture “being ripped apart.”