From left to right: Rep. Mac Thornberry (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP), Rep. Jen Hensarling (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP), Rep. Joe Barton (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP), and Rep. Sam Johnson (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP).

Four Texas Republicans voted against the House bill providing $15 billion in relief funding to southeast Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, according to the Texas Tribune.

Texan Congress members presented "a united front on Harvey aid," but after the debt ceiling deal Trump cut with Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Schumer was added to the bill, Republicans weren't pleased.

  • The bill: The $15 billion in funding was a part of "a larger deal to avoid a government default and shutdown for the next three months," which caused hesitation among members.
  • The no-vote Republicans: Joe Barton of Ennis, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, Sam Johnson of Richardson, and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon voted no. All four represent counties not impacted by Harvey.
  • Rep. Barton said while he isn't against relief packages, he is "against raising the public debt ceiling without a plan to reduce deficits."

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Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.