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Stacey Abrams at Essence Fest in New Orleans. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

A new political group called the Black Economic Alliance launched Monday and has already raised $3.5 million to put toward the 10 to 15 candidates they'll endorse.

The details: The group announced four initial endorsements on a conference call with reporters today, including Democratic gubernatorial candidates Ben Jealous in Maryland, Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Richard Cordray in Ohio, as well as Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Why it matters: This is a significant effort to focus on minority communities and business leaders in a way other groups aren't ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

What they're saying: Akunna Cook, executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, said that they'll endorse candidates running in areas where black residents make up at least a 10% of the population.

  • Stacey Abrams said that "young people are very much woke and conscious" about the current political environment in a way that they weren't in 2016.
  • Richard Cordray echoed that statement, saying that in Ohio he's seen "young people standing up and speaking out in a way they haven’t done in 50 years" through movements like Black Lives Matter and March For Our Lives.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.