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H.R. 2989 (115th): Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act

About the bill

Source: Republican Policy Committee

H.R. 2989 establishes a 16-member commission to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass. The Commission shall plan, develop, carry out, and recommend to Congress programs and activities that are fitting and proper to celebrate the anniversary in a manner that appropriately honors Frederick Douglass. No funds are authorized to carry out this Act, but the commission is authorized to accept private donations.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1817 and escaped by age 21. He published an autobiography documenting his life as a slave, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, while he was a fugitive slave. He spent his life advocating for the end of slavery and for equal civil rights. The bicentennial anniversary of his birth will occur in 2018

Sponsor and status

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Sponsor. Representative for the District of Columbia. Democrat.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2017
Length: 5 pages
Jun 21, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Nov 2, 2017

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on November 2, 2017.

Pub.L. 115-77

18 Cosponsors (11 Republicans, 7 Democrats)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

Norton, Harris, Van Hollen, and Cardin Announce President Trump Signs Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act into Law
    — Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC] (Sponsor) on Nov 2, 2017

Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act Becomes Law
    — Rep. Andy Harris [R-MD1] (Co-sponsor) on Nov 2, 2017

House Passes Valadao GROW Act
    — Rep. David Valadao [R-CA22] on Jul 12, 2017

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates H.R. 2989 will add $2 million in new spending through 2022.

Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

S. 1582: Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act

Introduced on Jul 19, 2017. 100% incorporated. (compare text)


Jun 21, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Jul 19, 2017
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

Oct 5, 2017
Reported by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A committee issued a report on the bill, which often provides helpful explanatory background on the issue addressed by the bill and the bill's intentions.

Oct 11, 2017
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next. The vote was by voice vote so no record of individual votes was made.

Oct 18, 2017
Passed Senate

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

Nov 2, 2017
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

H.R. 2989 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 2989. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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“H.R. 2989 — 115th Congress: Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act.” 2017. March 28, 2023 <>

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