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John Cornyn. Photo: Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images)

A bipartisan Senate coalition of 27 Democrats, 13 Republicans and two independents are backing a bill to recognize Juneteenth, the June 19 commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.

Why it matters: 47 states, plus D.C., recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, but legislation to declare it a national holiday has repeatedly stalled in Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.

  • The bill, introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), was co-signed by 12 Senate Republicans.
  • They include Susan Collins (Maine), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), James Risch (Idaho) and Todd Young (Ind.)

What they're saying: “Juneteenth is time-honored tradition in Texas celebrating the news that all slaves were freed,” Cornyn said. “It’s an annual reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go to achieve the order of equality mentioned in General Granger’s General Order No. 3 in 1865."

  • "It’s past time we honor Juneteenth as a federal holiday so Americans across the nation can celebrate and recognize America’s long-fought path towards equality."

The big picture: A number of U.S. companies recognized Juneteenth this year as a paid holiday, including Nike, Vox Media, Spotify, Lyft, Twitter, Square and the NFL all announced they will be observing Juneteenth as a company holiday.

  • The bill comes after anti-racism protests erupted across the country after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
  • Senate Democrats, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Markey, Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), introduced similar legislation last week.

Go deeper

Harry Reid on eliminating filibuster: It's a matter of "when," not "if"

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday addressed the question of whether Democrats will eliminate the legislative filibuster if they take control of the Senate, telling CNN that it's "not a question of if it's going to be gone, it's only when it's going to be gone."

Why it matters: Current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said that "nothing is off the table" if Republicans move ahead with replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election — a threat that likely includes abolishing the Senate's long-standing 60-vote threshold in order to pass sweeping legislation.

33 mins ago - Health

Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific COVID vaccine

A health worker in Palestine preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 24. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started clinical trials for a reformulated vaccine to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: The rise of the Omicron variant has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines.

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.