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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.

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: In the first bipartisan call for a ceasefire, Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined its Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.

Bill Gates faces scrutiny over relationship with Microsoft employee, Epstein ties

Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives for Bill Gates pushed back on claims Sunday that he left Microsoft's board because of an earlier sexual relationship and against two other reports detailing more extensive ties with Jeffrey Epstein than had previously been reported.

Driving the news: Microsoft said in an emailed statement to Axios that it "received a concern" in 2019 that its co-founder "sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," but denied a Wall Street Journal report that its board members thought Gates should resign over the matter.