As Memorial Day approached in May 2021, a rumor started circulating on social media alleging that U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters had introduced a bill to rename the federal holiday to “George Floyd Day”:
Waters did not introduce any bills to rename Memorial Day.
This piece of text, which read: “Maxine Waters just introduced a bill to re-name Memorial Day George Floyd Day. Are you FRICK’N kidding me?” was repeated verbatim across a wide range of colorful backgrounds. No matter how many times this message was repeated, and no matter how vibrant of a background was used, this rumor remained utterly false.
A list of bills that have been introduced in Congress can be seen at Congress.gov. This government website also allows users to sort these bills by politicians. When we go to the page for Waters, we can see that the California politician has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills in 2021 — such as legislation that would “provide better care and outcomes for Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease” and “to allow Americans to earn paid sick time” — but Waters has not introduced legislation that would result in the renaming of Memorial Day.
Waters did co-sponsor the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, but that bill had nothing to do with the annual federal holiday. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, which would address “a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability,” was passed by the House in March 2021, but has not yet received a vote in the U.S. Senate.