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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

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.