GOP Reps. Andrew Garbarino and Mark Amodei are leading the effort on a resolution in support of Columbus Day, saying they believe the federal holiday should continue to commemorate the Italian explorer for his role in discovering America amid the left-wing push to make it Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The resolution comes as numerous cities have opted not to recognize Columbus Day, arguing it should be replaced by Indigenous Peoples’ Day, citing the abuse of Native Americans by European explorers upon their arrival on the continent.
But proponents of the holiday argue it is important to preserve the history behind Columbus’ role in the founding of the country and that is a significant part of Italian American history.
“Like any good Italian, I am incredibly proud of my heritage and of the many contributions Italian Americans have made to this country. Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, connected East to West, and set the course for the creation of the United States and the Americas,” Garbarino said in a statement.
“But Columbus Day recognizes much more than just one man. It recognizes a day that changed the course of history – thanks to the ingenuity and commitment of an Italian explorer – and the generations of Italian American ingenuity that followed. For this reason, Columbus Day is a point of great pride for our community and I am committed to making sure it is preserved for future generations.”
The resolution expresses Congress’ “recognition of Christopher Columbus and his impact on the Italian-American community” and calls for the second Monday of October to be recognized as Columbus Day.
“Whereas, on October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World and changed the course of history; Whereas Christopher Columbus’s discoveries played an integral role in the founding of the United States and the American continents; Whereas Christopher Columbus has been honored for generations as a pillar of American heritage and culture,” it reads, “Whereas over the course of generations, Christopher Columbus has become a hero to the Italian-American community for his passion and commitment to discovery; and Whereas Christopher Columbus represents the intrepid spirit of the Italian-American community: Now, therefore, be it resolved, That the House of Representatives— (1) supports the observance of the second Monday in October as ‘Columbus Day’; and (2) honors the contributions of the Italian American community in our society thanks to the influence of Christopher Columbus.”
While a number of Democratic lawmakers have called for the shift to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, President Biden has recognized both days in press statements released last week.