Fact Check: Democratic Lawmaker Did NOT Introduce Bill To Rename Southern States

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Democratic Lawmaker Did NOT Introduce Bill To Rename Southern States New Satire

Did Rep. Maxine Waters of California introduce a bill, "H.R. 2020, the Erasing Confederate History Act of 2020," to rename the 11 states that originally made up the Confederacy? No, that's not true: This is a satirical article and such legislation does not exist.

The claim originated from an article published by WashingtonExterminator.com on June 29, 2020, titled "Democratic Lawmaker introduces bill to rename Southern States" (archived here) which opened:

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced H.R. 2020, the Erasing Confederate History Act of 2020, legislation that provides a comprehensive plan to rename the 11 states that made up the original Confederacy.

H.R. 2020 is a legitimate bill, but it was not introduced by Waters, nor did it have to do with renaming states. Rather, H.R. 2020, the "STEER Act" introduced in April of 2019, amends "the "Controlled Substances Act" to require a person that possesses or intends to possess a tableting machine or encapsulating machine to obtain registration from the Attorney General."

The top of WashingtonExterminator.com features a large satire disclaimer:

Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 11.54.23 AM.png

But users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Democratic Lawmaker introduces bill to rename Southern States - Washington Exterminator

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee,

WashingtonExterminator.com's domain was only registered back in June, making it one of the newest satire sites whose articles get shared on social media without the satire disclaimer immediately visible. The first time one of the site's satire articles was shared on Facebook was July 26, 2020.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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