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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

With control of the House of Representatives, Democrats now control the House Financial Services Committee, which will almost certainly be chaired by Maxine Waters. Waters has been on the committee for 28 years, which means that if anybody can get things done, she can. What can we expect under her gavel?

Be smart: With Republicans controlling both the Senate and the White House, don't expect a raft of progressive legislation in the next two years. But Waters doesn't just have an aggressive oversight agenda — she also has subpoena power, and she won't be afraid to use it.

  • Wells Fargo recently admitted that 545 of its customers lost their homes after being improperly denied loan modifications that would have lowered their mortgage payments. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rendered otiose by Republican control, expect Waters to step into the breach and start taking names.
  • Deutsche Bank is deeply intertwined with both Donald Trump and Russian money laundering; it has much to fear from Waters. Go deeper.
  • Also on Waters' list of priorities: housing, flood insurance and payday lenders.
"I have not forgotten you foreclosed on our houses. ... What am I going to do to you? What I'm going to do to you is fair. I'm going to do to you what you did to us."
Maxine Waters, to the banks, at the Black Women Network Breakfast on Nov. 2

What else is happening: The midterm elections changed the business landscape with both ballot measures and with new oversight in the House. Minimum-wage increases passed in Missouri and Arkansas, both of which were states where Republican lawmakers refused to make such a change on their own. Those statewide increases come on top of many city-level hikes.

Cannabis was also on many ballots:

  • There was further legalization of marijuana in Michigan, Missouri and even Utah.
  • Marijuana bulls were encouraged by the firing of attorney general Jeff Sessions, an adamant foe of the drug. It's unlikely that any of his successors will care as much about cannabis as he does.

Why it matters: Minimum wage hikes work, and voters know it. And while marijuana is going to remain illegal at the federal level for the foreseeable future, there is now a decent chance that Congress might pass a law ensuring that cannabis companies can be banked. That's a vital step for any industry.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.