Today, Congressman Joe Pitts (R-PA) joined Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) to introduce a resolution marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 and freed slaves in the states rebelling against the Union. It was a critical step toward the eventual passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which banned slavery.
Congressman Pitts' statement follows:
"I'm proud to work with Congresswoman Barbara Lee on a bipartisan resolution to mark this important anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. While continued efforts would be needed to free all Americans, the Proclamation was a courageous step toward ending the crime of slavery.
"My predecessor in Congress, Thaddeus Stevens, was a fervent advocate of emancipating the slaves. Early on in the course of the Civil War, he recognized that the country could not be made whole again without fulfilling the promise of the Declaration of Independence. He was a tireless abolitionist who moved President Lincoln to strike this critical blow for freedom."