Senate panel approves Nazi-stolen art recovery bill

Jewish families are one step closer to recovering artwork that was stolen by the Nazis.

A Senate panel on Thursday advanced the bipartisan Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act. The legislation would eliminate legal barriers that stand in the way of Jewish families reclaiming art that ended up in museums and private collections following the Holocaust.

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Three months after actress Helen Mirren showed up on Capitol Hill to advocate for the HEAR Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation, which now goes to the floor for a final vote.

The HEAR Act has garnered wide support from both sides of the aisle, including from Sens. John CornynJohn CornynRepublicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions Senate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Senate staff to draft health bill during recess MORE (R-Texas), Ted CruzTed CruzFEC faults Cruz on Goldman Sachs loans in rare unanimous vote CBO score underlines GOP tensions on ObamaCare repeal Republicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions MORE (R-Texas), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerHow Trump can score a big league bipartisan win on infrastructure Overnight Finance: Dems introduce minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (D-N.Y.), and Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets Five things to know about Joe Lieberman Special counsel appointment gets bipartisan praise MORE (D-Conn.).

For Jewish families, this art is a reminder of their heritage, said Cruz, which is “far more valuable than whatever economic value the works of art or cultural artifacts might have today. Indeed, that is priceless.” 

“It is long past time to return the ill-gotten gains of one of history’s vilest villains,” said Blumenthal.