A House version is led by outgoing Rep. William Lacy Clay, of St. Louis, who said the amendment “seeks to finish the job that President (Abraham) Lincoln started.”
It would “eliminate the dehumanizing and discriminatory forced labor of prisoners for profit that has been used to drive the over-incarceration of African Americans since the end of the Civil War,” Clay said.
In the Senate, the resolution has Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland signed on as co-sponsors. “This change to the 13th Amendment will finally, fully rid our nation of a form of legalized slavery,” Van Hollen said in an emailed statement.
Constitutional amendments are rare and require approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate, as well as ratification by three-quarters of state legislatures. Should the proposal fail to move out of committee in the remaining weeks of the current Congress, Merkley said he hoped to revive it next year.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction