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A top energy regulator responded Tuesday to an accusation by a former Trump campaign official that he is part of the “deep state” for rejecting an Energy Department plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants.

Quoted: “From my standpoint, early in the process, people were calling me a political hack, trying to push [Republican] Leader [Mitch] McConnell’s and the administration’s agenda,” Neil Chatterjee, a Republican commissioner appointed by President Trump to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told Axios Tuesday. “Today I got accused of being part of the deep state. When you’re getting hit on both sides it usually means you’re doing something right.”

What happened: On Monday, FERC’s five-member commission, which includes four appointed by Trump last year, unanimously voted to reject the Energy Department’s plan that would have compensated coal and nuclear plants for being able to store fuel on site, which most other electricity sources can’t do. Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, tweeted an article about the news with the following commentary: “The deep state is very real. More government officials who don’t support the Trump agenda.”

Bottom line: FERC rejecting the Energy Department’s proposal is a triumph of the expected in a political world we've grown to expect the unexpected.

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

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