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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

Updated 6 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker