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Expand chart
Chart: Axios Visuals

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida lost re-election Tuesday to his Democrat challenger, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Why it matters: Curbelo, a two-term Republican, was a top target for the Democrats from the get-go and considered a bellwether of a blue wave. The outcome also represents a loss for the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan House caucus Curbelo founded in 2016.

The big picture: The 38-year-old Curbelo, first elected to Congress in 2014, embodies the moderate GOP mold considered key to Republicans keeping control of the House. He represents the tip of Florida, a swing district whose residents regularly experience rising sea levels, one of the clearest and most present impacts of climate change.

  • Climate change is a top priority for Curbelo, who has regularly criticized President Trump on several issues.
  • Curbelo introduced legislation in July that taxes carbon emissions, the first substantive climate legislation by a Republican in a decade.

In an interview this summer, Curbelo brushed off prospects of losing.

“I don’t worry about those kinds of things. I didn’t go to college to serve in Congress. I’m going to be as effective as possible while I’m here. The day I’m not here, I’ll be perfectly fine.”
— GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida

What’s next: The prospect of bipartisan climate policy, something many independent experts say is necessary to make substantive progress on the issue, drops significantly with Curbelo exiting Congress.

Go deeper: Climate change is finally getting political cred with Republicans

Go deeper

CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers

Rochelle Walensky listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C. on July 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday reiterated her decision to go against a recommendation by a CDC advisory panel that refused to endorse booster shots for workers whose jobs put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Driving the news: "Our healthcare systems are once again at maximum capacity in parts of the country, our teachers are facing uncertainty as they walk into the classroom," Walensky said at a Friday briefing. "I must do what I can to preserve the health across our nation."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Biden pushes massive economic plan despite "stalemate"

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday urged congressional Democrats to overcome differences surrounding his multi-trillion-dollar economic proposal but said he's still confident it will pass.

Why it matters: It's currently unclear how the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package will move forward with moderate and progressive Democrats in disagreement over critical portions of the legislation.