June 16 (UPI) -- The House voted Wednesday to make Juneteenth -- which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States -- a federal holiday.
President Joe Biden was expected to sign it into law.
"I thank the Senate for passing S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, the companion to H.R. 1320, my bill to make [June 19] a federal holiday," Lee tweeted Wednesday. "I am at work with leaders to have the House pass the bill and and send it to [President Joe Biden] by Juneteenth."
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.
If it passes in the House, it would become the 11th federal holiday and give all federal employees a paid day off. It won't require private companies to give employees the day off.