Statue of Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Virginia Democrats are seeking to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol and possibly replace it with a tribute to an African-American leader, The Hill reports.

The big picture: U.S. Reps. A. Donald McEachin and Jennifer Wexton urged Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in December to remove the Confederate statue. Northam filed a formal request for a bill on Thursday, falling in line with his racial reconciliation goals for the state, according to the Post. The measure would need approval from the General Assembly, of which Democrats will take control later in January.

  • Wexton argued in an interview: "Having Robert E. Lee represent us in the Capitol is not an accurate depiction of the commonwealth of Virginia today," per the Post.
  • According to a statement from a Northam spokesperson in December: "This is something the governor has long wanted to do — he is looking forward to working with the congressional delegation and members of the General Assembly to get it done this year."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

8 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.