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A 2017 Chevy Malibu at the 2017 Washington Auto Show in Washington. Photo: Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The 2018 Washington Auto Show begins on Tuesday, and will be displaying a variety of electric vehicles, as well as allowing lawmakers and regulators to discuss "unique challenges and opportunities" surrounding new transportation trends in the MobilityTalks International forum.

Why it matters: This year's show will have the most all-electric vehicles to date, according to the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association communications manager Mike Bushnell.

  • There will be a Senate Energy Committee hearing on the sidelines of the auto show events on Thursday, and a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday.
  • Guest speakers include Senate Commerce chairman John Thune; Michigan Sen. Gary Peters; Lyft's director of government relations Rob Grant; General Motors' director of corporate finance Rachel Bhattacharya; and Jack Weast, the chief systems architect of autonomous driving solutions for Intel.
  • Bill Wehrum, who is EPA's top air pollution official, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will be taking questions from the press on Thursday.
  • Cars that will at the consumer show include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the e-Golf, the zero-emission BMW i3, the Honda Clarity fuel cell car, and the Chevy Volt and Bolt

Go deeper

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that confronting Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.