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H.R. 434 (116th): Emancipation National Historic Trail Study Act

About the bill

Middle school social studies textbooks and Schoolhouse Rock songs paint a stereotypical portrait of how congressional legislation gets passed. But in real life, the story of how federal laws actually get enacted usually proves far more complex. To examine how, GovTrack Insider browsed through all the laws enacted by Congress in 2019–20, looking for one that seemed both particularly interesting and undercovered by national media.

We found the Emancipation National Historic Trail Study Act. First, we traced its origins through interviews with local advocates who got it off the ground in the first place. Then we look at its slow momentum in Congress, including its House introduction by a Black Democrat and its Senate introduction by a white Republican. Finally, we looked at the legislative compromises that helped get ...

Sponsor and status

Sheila Jackson Lee

Sponsor. Representative for Texas's 18th congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Length: 1 page
Jan 10, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Jan 27, 2020

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on January 27, 2020.

Pub.L. 116-111

55 Cosponsors (52 Democrats, 3 Republicans)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

congresswoman sheila Jackson Lee commends house passage of h.r. 434 the emancipation national historic trail act
    — Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-TX18] (Sponsor) on Jul 25, 2019

President Signs Cornyn, Jackson Lee Bill to Study Emancipation Trail from Galveston to Houston into Law
    — Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX] on Jan 27, 2020

My Votes – Week of July 22
    — Rep. Cathy Rodgers [R-WA5] on Jul 26, 2019

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates new spending due to H.R. 434 will be negligible.

Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

S. 2646: Emancipation National Historic Trail Study Act

Introduced on Oct 17, 2019. 99% incorporated. (compare text)


Jan 10, 2019

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

Apr 2, 2019
Considered by National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands

A committee held a hearing or business meeting about the bill.

May 1, 2019
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.

Jun 27, 2019
Reported by House Committee on Natural Resources

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.

Jul 24, 2019
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.

Jan 13, 2020
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 Voice Vote so no record of individual votes was made.

Jan 27, 2020
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

H.R. 434 (116th) 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. 434. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 434 — 116th Congress: Emancipation National Historic Trail Study Act.” 2019. October 17, 2021 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.