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Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR this morning announced the creation of a $20 million fund to compensate thousands of Toys "R" Us employees who lost their jobs when the retailer shut down earlier this year.

Why it matters: The Toys "R" Us situation was unusual in terms of both scale and the decision to liquidate rather than scale back or sell, but there could be some who view this new fund as precedent-setting.

The TRU Financial Assistance Fund will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, who are best known for their work on funds related to tragedies like 9/11, the BP oil spill and child sex abuse by Catholic priests.

  • Bain and KKR each contributed $10 million, none of which will come from limited partners.
  • There had been earlier reports of the fund plans, but nothing was made official until today.
  • Both firms continue to seek participation by Vornado — their original buyout partner — and several secured lenders that forced Toys "R" Us into liquidation. So far, none of those others has been receptive. Workers' rights groups had initially sought a total of around $50 million.

There is little doubt that Bain and KKR are doing the right thing here. Their actions with Toys "R" Us contributed to its collapse, even if they weren't the ones who ultimately turned off the lights.

The question now is what happens next time there is a similar situation, or even one that has just some faint similarities. It's hard to imagine that there won't be a future group of fired employees that looks at those compensated by the TRU Financial Assistance Fund and asks, "If them, why not us?"

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.