Duncan on Pelosi’s Request to Remove Portraits of Past Speakers from Capitol

June 19, 2020
Press Release

Laurens, S.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi in opposition of her request to remove various portraits of former Speakers of the House from the Capitol Complex:

“It’s been a long-standing tradition of the U.S. House of Representatives to have portraits of past Speakers displayed in the Capitol Complex following their service. However, Speaker Pelosi has recently taken it upon herself to request various portraits of past Speakers she deems unworthy be removed from the Capitol and placed in storage. I sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi in adamant opposition of this request, specifically her request to remove the portrait of former Speaker of the House James L. Orr of South Carolina. I’m very concerned at the precedent Speaker Pelosi’s action sets, and that it will ultimately end with removing history.

“Every leader in our country’s history has flaws and imperfections. Every single portrait or statue in the U.S. Capitol depicts individuals who have made mistakes or questionable statements by modern day standards. If it is so important that we police those who have made controversial comments, why then is Speaker Pelosi attempting to discipline former Members who have been dead for over 100 years, when she’s refused to discipline current Members of her own caucus who have made anti-Semitic statements?

“Simply put, this is a dangerous path to go down and I don’t believe removing a portrait outside the chamber of the People’s House will benefit our country, foster more equality, or help Americans achieve greater economic prosperity. These actions only serve as a continuation of the folly that is “cancel culture,” and seeks to further divide Americans.

“Although the portrait of James Orr has already been removed, I’m requesting that Speaker Pelosi return his portrait back to its original location in the Capitol Complex, or at the very least, allow me to display it in my Congressional office in the Rayburn House Office Building. Instead of focusing on erasing history, we should learn from it and place it in its proper context so that we can all join in continuing to make America the greatest country in the history of the world.”

Read the letter HERE.