Scott Pruitt. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The White House has told the Environmental Protection Agency to stand down on two changes regarding ethanol quotas after backlash from Iowa politicians, according to a Bloomberg report.

Why it matters: Head of federal affairs for petroleum refining company Andeaver, Stephen Brown, told Bloomberg that "the administration essentially had no choice but to relent," because Iowa senators were "threatening to hold nominees hostage" until they got their way. Republican senator Chuck Grassley said it was a matter of the president sticking to his promise.

The changes being reportedly dropped by the EPA are a reduction in biodiesel requirements, and a proposal letting exported biofuels count toward domestic quotas. The ethanol industry (and Iowa politicians "seeking to preserve demand for corn and soy") strongly opposed the latter.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in Wednesday's press briefing that Trump had a call with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and that they plan to continue looking at the renewable fuels standard program, which requires refineries to blend ethanol and other biofuels into the nation's gasoline supply.

Go deeper: Axios' Jonathan Swan and Amy Harder discuss why Trump has to work with Grassley..

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 12,813,864 — Total deaths: 566,790 — Total recoveries — 7,046,535Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 3,286,025 — Total deaths: 135,089 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.

Lindsey Graham says he will ask Mueller to testify before Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Sunday that he will grant Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his committee.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of Mueller publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that defended the Russia investigation and conviction of Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump on Friday.