A South Dakota lawmaker has proposed legislation he says will protect Mount Rushmore.
Rep. Dusty Johnson introduced the Mount Rushmore Protection Act on Thursday, according to a release from his office.
Johnson said the legislation would prohibit the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy or remove the likeness, the name of, or any of the faces on the memorial.
This comes amid a reevaluation of statues and monuments across the country as the nation grapples with past and current social injustices. Protesters have toppled a number of statues of Confederate leaders or former leaders who owned slaves.
Regarding Mount Rushmore in particular, the Associated Press reports some Native American activists say the memorial is as bad as the many Confederate monuments being destroyed. They argue the presidents represent the violent takeover of Native American land - including the Black Hills, where the monument was constructed.
Johnson is not the first South Dakota leader to come to the defense of Mount Rushmore. Earlier this week, a tweet from Gov. Kristi Noem made headlines. In response to a tweet from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro stating, "When is our woke historical revisionist priesthood going to insist on blowing up Mount Rushmore?" Noem responded "Not on my watch."
The memorial has also been in the headlines lately after President Donald Trump announced he plans to attend the Independence Day fireworks show on July 3.