Lunar New Year would become a federal holiday under a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives by NYC Rep. Grace Meng and backed by 44 co-sponsors.
Introduced ahead of Tuesday's start of the Year of the Tiger, the Lunar New Year Day Act would amend the existing list of 11 federal public holidays to add Lunar New Year. (It would not specify a particular day or date for the observance, as opposed to the other holidays.)
A number of legislators from the New York area co-sponsored the bill, as did members of Congress from across the country. No Republicans signed on to back the measure, however.
Meng, who represents portions of Queens, has previously introduced resolutions in the House recognizing and offering well-wishes for the holiday, but without the step of a bill making it a federal day off. As a state legislator, she pushed for New York City schools to be closed for the holiday.
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"With Asian Americans being the fastest growing population in our country, and with the popularity of the holiday continuing to grow, it makes sense to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday. The time has come to make this happen," Meng said in a statement.