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.

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Senate Democrats call GOP police reform bill "not salvageable"

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday stating that Senate Republicans' police reform bill is "not salvageable."

Why it matters: The bill comes amid a national reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism spurred by the killing of George Floyd, but Capitol Hill's gridlock over the best path forward might torpedo any real legislative action on the issue at the moment.

Race's media moment

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images, NY Daily News via Getty Images, Bettmann / Contributor, Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, Star Tribune via Getty Images.

Across every type of media — music, television, books, podcasts and more — messages about fighting systemic racism and driving social change are topping the charts and dominating the country's attention span.

Why it matters: Just as the late 1960s propelled new soundtracks, movies and shows about social justice, media today will serve as a lasting record of this moment in America's history.

Senate GOP police reform bill stalls after failing to gain Democratic support

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) with Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Republicans' police reform bill failed to gain enough votes to advance the measure in a procedural vote Wednesday.

Why it matters: It highlights the extent of their split with Democrats, who have blasted the GOP bill as "not salvageable" for failing to properly address what they believe are fundamental issues, like the banning of police chokeholds.