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Chuck Kennedy/Axios

John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers, said at an Axios event Thursday that it's "critically important" that Congress pass federal legislation on autonomous vehicles.

Why it matters: It's been one year since the House approved the Self Drive Act, but the Senate has yet to pass it. This delay is set against a growing fear in Washington, Silicon Valley and the auto industry that the U.S. will fall dangerously behind in autonomous vehicle standards and policies while China and Europe leap ahead.

"My fear is we fall behind with the rest of the world."
— Congressman Robert Latta (R-Ohio), chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee

The big picture: As breakthroughs are happening on the mechanical, computer and engineering levels with regard to autonomous vehicles, "time is running out" on moving policy forward, said Latta.

Meanwhile, the industry is struggling with toeing the line on actual safety and creating the public perception of safety.

  • It's unrealistic to expect there won't be accidents involving autonomous vehicles during testing, said Latta, but that shouldn't keep Congress from passing legislation to pursue it. He also pointed to the fact that tens of thousands of deaths each year are caused by human error.

Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.