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Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr has canceled his scheduled appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, after the panel voted today to allow an extra hour of questioning by staff lawyers against the objections of the Justice Department. The committee will still hold the hearing without Barr at 9 a.m.

What's next: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler had previously pledged to subpoena Barr should he refuse to testify. If Barr ignores the subpoena, as several Trump administration officials have done, Democrats on the committee have indicated that they will move to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress.

Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec in a statement on Wednesday evening called it "inappropriate" for Nadler to ask staff to question Barr.

"Chairman Nadler's insistence on having staff question the Attorney General, a Senate-confined Cabinet member, is inappropriate. Further, in light of the fact that the majority of the House Judiciary Committee — including Chairman Nadler — are themselves attorneys, and the Chairman has the ability and authority to fashion the hearing in a way that allows for efficient and thorough questioning by the Members themselves, the Chairman’s request is also unnecessary."
— The statement reads

The big picture: Barr testified Wednesday before the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, an appearance that left a number of congressional and 2020 Democrats calling for his resignation. Barr defended himself against the latest bombshell surrounding his work — yesterday's revelation of a letter from special counsel Robert Mueller objecting to how the attorney general's 4-page summary of the report had characterized its contents.

Go deeper: Barr unrepentant in Senate Judiciary testimony

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Economy & Business

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 13 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Pity the "green" car buyer

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Data; Note: Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Americans are more open than ever to trading in their gas cars for electrified vehicles — but they're flummoxed by the confusing array of green options arriving in showrooms.

Why it matters: Getting up to speed on the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles will be a challenge for car buyers — and salespeople, too — as we transition away from gas-powered vehicles over the next decade.

Updated 13 mins ago - Technology

America's attention recession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New data shows that there's been a pullback from the historically high levels of media audience growth — and in some cases consumption — during 2020, pointing to signs of a slight "attention recession" in the past few months.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic drove a once-in-a-lifetime surge in the attention economy online, but the gradual return of normal life in many places — along with media overload and exhaustion — has down-shifted consumption patterns.