June 15 (UPI) -- The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of a bill making Juneteenth -- celebrating the end of slavery in the United States -- a federal holiday.
The passage comes one year after Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., held up the same legislation, saying it was a waste of taxpayer money.
Freedom from slavery was announced in Galveston, Texas, the most remote area of the country where slavery was still practiced, on June 19, 1865. Thereafter, the date came to be celebrated annually as Juneteenth, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day, particularly in Texas.
"Happy that my bill to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday just passed the Senate," Cornyn tweeted. I"t has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years. Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more perfect union."
The legislation is expected to pass the House, as well. If it does, it would become the 11th federal holiday, giving all federal employees a paid day off. It won't require private companies to give employees the day off.