O'Rourke says he would support commission on reparations

Posted at 11:53 AM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 11:53:21-04

NEW YORK (AP) — Beto O'Rourke says if he is elected president, he would support a House bill that would create a commission to study reparations to African Americans over slavery.

Speaking Wednesday at Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention in New York, the Democratic presidential candidate said he would back a bill sponsored by fellow Texan Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

The comments are O'Rourke's most detailed to date on the question of reparations for black Americans as a means to address centuries of slavery and legal discrimination.

Most 2020 candidates have been cautious on the topic, with some ruling out direct compensation to African Americans. O'Rourke did not say whether he backs direct payments to African Americans.

He is the first of a dozen presidential candidates addressing the convention.