Religion on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally held to be a time for reflection and spiritual growth, is being increasingly debated as lawmakers try to decide what kind of holiday should be allowed in the United States.
The holiday, traditionally celebrated on Dec. 25, was officially designated by Congress as a “national holiday” in 1979 and officially designated as a state holiday in 2000.
But a slew of bills in recent years have sought to restrict the religious holiday and others have sought broader restrictions.
As a result, lawmakers are struggling to craft a legislative agenda that would protect the religious symbols of their states.
A few of those bills include religious easters, which can be hung on poles and other objects to honor different faiths, as well as religious memorials and other holiday decorations.
Some lawmakers also have proposed changing the way the holiday is celebrated in some states to make it more inclusive.
The first major attempt to address this issue was in 2013, when Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) proposed a bill that would allow the holiday to be celebrated as a celebration of all Americans regardless of their religious beliefs.
The bill was subsequently killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The other bill that has been discussed in recent weeks is an effort to extend the Thanksgiving holiday from December 25 to January 2.
That bill was introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R in Oklahoma), and it has received significant bipartisan support.
It would allow Thanksgiving to be held on the first Saturday in January instead of the first Sunday in December, but it would require that Thanksgiving be held during the Thanksgiving weekend and not on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
According to the Associated Press, Republicans in Congress have also discussed changing the date of the holiday, to be observed on a Saturday, and the location of the observance.
The idea was initially supported by Sen .
Ted Cruz, who said the holiday could be celebrated on a Sunday, but after a number of senators said they opposed the change, it was ultimately passed.
On the other hand, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.), a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said on Tuesday that he would not support extending the holiday on any day other than Thanksgiving Day.
In a statement, Sensenberner said, “I will never support extending a day of national celebration that is so detrimental to the American economy and our nation.”
The AP also reported that a group of senators have written a letter to the White House urging President Donald Trump to veto a bill to extend Thanksgiving.
The AP cited two people familiar with the letter who said it included more than 200 signatures.
“We believe the timing of the passage of this bill by the House and Senate is inappropriate and will hurt the American people and the economy,” the letter stated.
A spokesman for the White’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.