Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Co-Sponsored by Collins to Establish Commission Devoted to Uplifting Black Communities

The legislation, which was included as part of the JUSTICE Act, was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Washington, D.C. — Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins to establish the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. The Commission would be housed within the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and would recommend policies to improve current government programs. 


The Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act, which now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration, was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).  The bill was included as a provision in the JUSTICE Act authored by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).


“In order to make genuine progress toward the American ideal of ensuring that all of us, regardless of race, are created – and treated – equally, we have to take action,” said Senator Collins.  “This commission would provide a way to help our government confront and work to eliminate the racial disparities across the country.”


“This week, the Senate missed an opportunity to begin debate on the JUSTICE Act, a comprehensive police reform bill that contains a number of proposals that have broad, bipartisan support, including this commission,” Senator Collins continued.  “Democrats and Republicans must continue to work together on legislation that will lessen racial injustices and make a difference for communities of color.”


Specifically, the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act would establish a commission to recommend policies to improve upon, or augment, current government programs. The Commission, consisting of 19 members, would include bipartisan Members of Congress, federal agency experts, and appointed subject issue area experts. The Commission would investigate potential civil rights violations affecting black males and study the disparities they experience in education, criminal justice, health, employment, fatherhood, mentorship and violence. 


Additionally, the Commission would be responsible for producing an annual report to address the current conditions affecting black men and boys and make recommendations to improve the social conditions and provide vital guidance for Congress on effective strategies to reduce the racial disparities in education, criminal justice, health and employment. The report would be submitted to the President, Congress, members of the President’s Cabinet, and the chairs of the appropriate committees of jurisdiction.  It would also be publicly available online on a centralized federal website.