Photo: Photo: Chris Conway/Getty

Democratic National Committee officials voted 17-8 on Thursday against a proposal to host a primary debate focused exclusively on climate change, according to HuffPost.

The big picture: Environmental activists, including the youth-led Sunrise Movement, have been pressuring the DNC for months to host a first-of-its-kind debate on the climate crisis. Top officials say it would open the floodgates to other single-issue debates on topics like health care and abortion rights, and also worry that it could harm the eventual nominee in the general election by alienating voters in states that rely on the fossil fuel industry, per HuffPost.

  • The committee voted in favor of a separate resolution to sanction a less-formal climate forum, similar to the town halls that CNN and MSNBC will be hosting this fall.

Driving the news: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who sought to make climate change the centerpiece of the campaign, dropped out of the presidential race just one day before the vote. His advocacy has helped elevate the issue to a degree unseen in prior cycles.

What they're saying ... A coalition of grassroots climate activists, including the Sunrise Movement, Greenpeace and 350.org, said in a statement:

"Nearly half a million grassroots activists pushed their DNC members to support a full-fledged climate debate between the candidates. It's proof of their grassroots power that the resolutions committee advanced something we believe will encourage more direct debate on the climate crisis by allowing multi-candidate forums with simultaneous 'discussion' between candidates. 
We will keep the pressure up on the DNC to pass these resolutions on Saturday. The climate crisis is too important to both our future and our ability to mobilize the voters we need to beat Donald Trump -- the DNC must use this opportunity to showcase the clear contrast between the Democratic candidates and Donald Trump on the climate crisis, whose only answer to this emergency is to deny that it is even happening."

Go deeper: Kamala Harris joins CNN climate change town hall after criticism from activists

Go deeper

Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 33,454,037 — Total deaths: 1,003,571 — Total recoveries: 23,204,219Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 7,165,067 — Total deaths: 205,476 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.

NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

New York City's coronavirus positivity rate has ticked up to 3.25%, its highest since June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The jump — from 1.93% on Monday — came on the first day that public elementary classrooms reopened in the city after months of closures, but guidelines state that all public schools will have to shut if the citywide seven-day positivity rate stays above 3%.

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