Before deciding to back the bill [to create a national holiday], Reagan expressed concern about its cost. Federal offices close on national holidays, as do banks and many other businesses. [Senator Jesse] Helms [of North Carolina] claimed the resulting annual loss could be 12 billion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office put the figure at 18 million. To those worried about the expense, said Senator Bob Dole (R- Kans.), "I suggest they hurry back to their pocket calculators and estimate the cost of 300 years of slav- ery, followed by a century or more of economic, political and social ex- clusion and discrimination.''
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