Bipartisan push in Congress looks to replace Confederate statue in Washington with one of John Lewis

Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Just a week after the late Congressman John Lewis left Capitol Hill for the last time, his Georgia colleagues are working on a way to preserve his memory in the halls of Congress.

“We think that there’s no better person that we could have to represent our state in the Capitol than our friend John Lewis,” Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) said Wednesday.

Bishop and Republican Congressman Tom Graves are two of the 10 Georgia lawmakers proposing to replace a statue of Confederate leader Alexander Hamilton Stephens with one of Lewis. The long-time Georgia Congressman, referred to as the “conscience of Congress,” died at the age of 80 this month after a battle with cancer.

“We just asked that they consider this tribute to Lewis,” Graves said.

But approval for the change must come from the Georgia State Capitol.

In a tweet last week, Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signaled his support for the move.

“By putting his statue in the U.S. Capitol we can celebrate his legacy of service for years to come,” he tweeted.

President Donald Trump hasn’t weighed in on the matter but has long been against removing Confederate statues.

Graves said their push isn’t an attempt to change history.

“Instead of cancel culture, it’s OK to highlight the modern legacies of those that have positive impact,” Graves added.

Bishop and Graves are encouraging members of both parties are getting on board.

“We will continue working to make sure that this is completed and that we can walk past a statue – in the not too distant future – of our friend our colleague our hero John Lewis in Statuary Hall,” Bishop said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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