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U.S. Capitol Police officers detain protesters outside of the House chamber on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

President Biden signed a law Wednesday authorizing the Capitol Police chief to directly request assistance from federal agencies in cases of emergency.

Why it matters: The move expedites a process that previously hindered the federal response to the Capitol riot.

Details: In the past, the chief would have to request approval from the Capitol Police Board before seeking out federal agencies. The panel includes the House and Senate sergeants at arms as well as the architect of the Capitol.

  • A bipartisan report from the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees earlier this year urged for reform to this procedure, writing that "none of the members of the Capitol Police Board appeared fully familiar with the process or requirements relating to emergency declarations or requesting external support."
  • "This lack of familiarity with the process delayed requests for National Guard assistance on and before January 6," the report found.

Go deeper

Oath Keepers leader indicted on charges related to Jan. 6

Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Stewart Rhodes, a founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, has been arrested and charged in connection with events leading up to and including the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Rhodes is the most prominent figure arrested on charges related to the Capitol insurrection.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker