COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Republican state legislator wants to give former President Donald Trump the option of making the State House grounds his final resting place.
A bill from GOP state Rep. R.J. May would require the South Carolina Department of Administration to offer any president acquitted of impeachment twice to be buried on State House grounds, according to a statement from May's political consulting firm, Ivory Tusk Consulting.
The bill is a rebuttal to one introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would bar any president impeached twice from being buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The U.S. House bill would also bar the federal government from spending money on statues, monuments or symbols commemorating any president who was impeached twice.
If the U.S. House bill, which was introduced a month ago and has not seen any movement in Congress since, were to pass, it would only apply to former President Trump, the only U.S. president in history to be impeached on two different occasions.
"HR 484, filed by Congressional Democrats, is clearly aimed at former President Donald Trump, and his supporters, in an attempt to erase the 'America First' agenda," May said in the statement. "What progressives and some members of the establishment fail to realize is Trump gave a voice to millions of Americans who felt their government had abandoned them."
Under May's bill, the state of South Carolina would have to offer Trump a burial place on the State House grounds, according to a statement. If Trump were to accept and a State House Committee were to approve it, the Department of Administration would have to identify a location and put up a grave marker.
The text of the bill filed in the House was not immediately available.
"South Carolina is pushing back against liberals in Washington," May said in the statement.
Being buried on State House grounds would not be totally unprecedented. In 1799, Swanson Lunsford, a Revolutionary War captain, was buried on the southwest corner of the grounds. He is the only person buried at the State House, according to Historic Columbia.
Trump was impeached for the second time in January, with just days left in his term. His impeachment was linked to a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, where the former president's supporters broke into the building as members of the House and Senate met to certify electoral college votes.
The rioters headed to the Capitol shortly after Trump delivered a speech in which he said would "never concede" and urged his supporters to "fight like hell."
The Senate held Trump's trial after he left office, and ultimately voted to acquit him, the second time it had done so.
The riot and second impeachment left Republicans deeply divided on the former president. Some factions of the party believe the GOP should embrace the polarizing former president while others think it should reject him outright.(c)2021 The State (Columbia, S.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.