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Grassley questions Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 3 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Thursday that he will block the confirmation of two of President Trump's nominees until the White House provides "adequate explanations" for why the inspectors general for the intelligence community and State Department were ousted in the past two months.

Why it matters: It's a rare attempt by a Republican to hold Trump accountable for his recent purge of federal watchdogs. Grassley has long considered himself a defender of inspectors general.

  • In the past two months, Trump has moved to oust Intelligence Community IG Michael Atkinson, State Department IG Steve Linick, acting Pentagon IG Glenn Fine, and acting Health and Human Services IG Christi Grimm.
  • Linick was removed at the recommendation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump told reporters that he has offered to fire any Obama-appointed inspector general.

Details: Grassley said he is refusing to consider the White House nomination of Christopher C. Miller as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Miller was nominated on May 4.

  • Grassley will also block the nomination of Marshall Billingslea as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, which the White House announced for consideration on May 1.

Go deeper: Top Democrats to investigate ouster of State Department watchdog

Go deeper

Trump says he'll nominate Chad Wolf to be DHS secretary

Chad Wolf. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he will nominate acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to be the permanent head of the agency.

Why it matters: It's been more than 500 days since a Senate-confirmed secretary led the Department of Homeland Security — a record for any administration.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
60 mins ago - Health

Gottlieb: CDC hampered U.S. response to COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The CDC moved too slowly at several points in the coronavirus pandemic, ultimately hindering the U.S. response, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb writes in a new book, Uncontrolled Spread.

The big picture: The book argues that American intelligence agencies should have a much bigger role in pandemic preparedness, even if that's sometimes at the expense of public health agencies like the CDC.

911's digital makeover

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A next-generation 911 would allow the nation's 6,000 911 centers to accept texts, videos and photos.

The big picture: U.S. emergency communications have remained stubbornly analog, but Congress is about to take another run at dragging 911 into the digital age.

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