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Sheila Jackson Lee. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee voted 25 to 17 Wednesday to advance a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for Black Americans who are the descendants of slaves.

Why it matters: "No such bill has ever come this far during Congressional history of the United States," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who sponsored the bill, per the Washington Post.

  • The same reparations bill advanced on Wednesday was first introduced in the House in 1989, but never received a committee vote.
  • The racial justice protests of 2020 have given new wind to the movement to pass reparations legislation, but the bill still faces formidable Republican opposition.

Details: If passed, the bill would create a 13-person commission to "study the effects of slavery and racial discrimination, hold hearings and recommend "appropriate remedies" to Congress," per the Post.

  • What form these remedies would take is still up for debate. Jackson Lee told the Post that the committee would offer Congress a variety of proposals on how to end economic, health, and educational racial disparities.
  • President Biden has affirmed his support for a study on reparations and is open to considering potential legislation recommended by the commission, NPR reports.

Yes, but: Republicans remain firmly opposed to the idea of reparations.

  • "I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in 2019.

Go deeper

House panel approves bill to grant D.C. statehood

Photo: GHI/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation that would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state, setting the stage for a vote by the full chamber for the second year in a row.

Why it matters: Statehood for the District is a priority for Democrats that will likely clear the House largely along party lines like it did last year, but it faces a much tougher path in the divided Senate, where it would need 60 votes.

57 mins ago - World

One-year anniversary of Beirut blast marked by grief, anger

White roses are seen on portraits of victims of last year's Beirut port blast in the Lebanese capital, as Lebanon marks on August 4, 2021. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images

Fluctuating between feelings of sadness, grief and anger, Beirut residents on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others.

The big picture: No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, per Reuters.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

The NCAA's summer of change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The college sports landscape has changed more this summer than at any other point in history, as the NCAA grapples with new rules and shifting power dynamics.

The state of play: When NCAA competition resumes this fall, everyone involved — from student-athletes and coaches, to universities and fans — will be entering a new world.