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Mike Allen discusses the government's role in innovtion with Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Axios' Mike Allen hosted a trio of conversations in D.C. on how 5G, the next phase in super-fast networks, will affect self-driving cars. He discussed the roles of government and tech in facilitating the adaption of these vehicles with:

  • T.H. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • T.H. Gary Peters (D-MI), Senator, Michigan
  • Dr. Chris Urmson, CEO, Aurora
We subbed our signature oatmeal bowl for a 5Grain bowl to celebrate the occasion. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Fueled by 5Grains, Mike takes the stage. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Rep. Walden on 5G advances: "Washington’s role is to get out of the way of the innovators.” (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)

Why it matters: Rep. Walden leads the House committee tasked with overseeing technology issues.

Rep. Walden "I’m not looking for a lot of regulation, I’m looking for responsibility. [...] If responsibility doesn’t flow, then regulation will." (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)

Why it matters: An Axios-SurveyMonkey poll out yesterday morning shows Americans are increasingly concerned government won't do enough to regulate tech.

David McCabe's thought bubble: While Walden was cautious in announcing any specific action, this is striking talk coming from a pro-industry Republican with close ties to House leadership.

Sen. Peters on military application of self-driving tech: “We lost more soldiers in logistics operations driving through dangerous terrain than in combat.” (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Sen. Peters: "The F35 fighter that we're building now will probably be the last aircraft fighter ever built that will have a human pilot"--implying autonomous airplanes are next. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Dr. Urmson, who's the CEO of autonomous car tech startup Aurora, tells Mike: "[Tech companies] at their core are doing what they think is right for society” and “doing their best to generate a better world. [...] They have massive reach,” and with that, “there is a social responsibility that comes along with that.” (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Thank you to the 130+ Washingtonians who joined us. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)

Thank you to Qualcomm for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel almost resigned over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel almost resigned in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelations stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

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