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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has reintroduced a bill to fund a commission to study reparations to African Americans. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A U.S. House subcommittee will host another hearing on a proposal to study compensation for America's history of slavery and racial discrimination.

Why it matters: The hearing scheduled Feb. 17 is part of a second attempt by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, to get a commission funded that would examine how reparations for African Americans would work and how descendants of enslaved people would be compensated for decades of trauma.

  • The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, held a similar hearing on Juneteenth in 2019, attracting Black intellectuals and celebrities.
  • It was the first congressional hearing on reparations in more than a decade and came amid growing conversations about racial disparities in the U.S.

Details: H.R. 40 seeks to establish a commission to "examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies."

  • Since introduced three years ago, the bill has gained support from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Some Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 election also went on the record to say they supported the proposal.

National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America co-chair Kamm Howard said there is more momentum this time to establish the commission and finally debate the need for reparations.

Yes, but: Democrats hold a slim majority in the U.S. Senate and it's not clear that even some moderate Democrats would endorse the creation of a reparations commission.

Flashback: "A national reparations policy is a moral, democratic and economic imperative. This hearing is yet another important step in the long and historic struggle of African Americans to secure reparations for the damage that has been inflicted by slavery and Jim Crow," actor and activist Danny Glover said during the 2019 hearing.

Between the lines: The public airing of the reparations debate comes after a summer of racial reckoning following high-profile killings of African Americans by police.

  • City governments, professional sports leagues, and media outlets also have since reexamined their roles in elevating systemic racism.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Mounting emissions data paints bleak picture on Paris climate goals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers keep finding new ways to reveal that nations are together showing very few signs of getting on track to meet the Paris Agreement's goals.

One big question: That's whether a spate of recent analyses to that effect, and scientific reports coming later this year, will move the needle on meaningful new policies (not just targets).