Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., demanded on Tuesday that the Florida government hold a special session on whether to replace a statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol.
"Shamefully, a statue of a Confederate general currently represents the state of Florida in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol," Wasserman Schultz said. "Elected officials in Florida must take immediate action by calling a one-day special session to replace this painful symbol of oppression."
Elected official in Florida must take immediate action by calling a one-day special session to replace this painful symbol of oppression.— D. Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) August 15, 2017
Each state donated two statues of important figures from their state's history to be displayed in various parts of the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection, according to the architect of the U.S. Capitol. One of Florida's statues, donated in 1922 and currently displayed at the Capitol Visitor Center, depicts Edmund Kirby Smith who served as a Confederate general during the Civil War.
Wasserman Schultz's statements came after the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., where one woman died and 19 others were injured after a man drove a car into a crowd during a counter-protest to a white supremacist rally.
"We must denounce white supremacy and domestic terrorism and stand up for love and compassion – not just with our words, but with our deeds," Wasserman Schultz said.
We must denounce white supremacy and domestic terrorism and stand up for love and compassion not just with our words, but with our deeds.— D. Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) August 15, 2017
Later on Tuesday, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is a Republican, told the the congresswoman that the Florida legislature already voted for the removal of the Smith statue and said that they are "well ahead of her."
"Like most politicians in Washington, the Congresswoman is out of touch. We've already made this decision and are now having a conversation about which great Floridian we should honor," Corcoran said. "The Congresswoman should stop grandstanding and focus on balancing the Federal budget."
My full statement on Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's grandstanding - were well ahead of her on Gen. Kirby Smith statue. pic.twitter.com/yV2rTWHgzL— Richard Corcoran (@richardcorcoran) August 15, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., signed a bill to remove the Smith statue and choose a new Floridian to represent the state in the National Statuary Hall Collection last year, but a replacement has not yet been selected.