EPA Chief Scott Pruitt. Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

Here are highlights from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s appearance Tuesday in front of the Senate, the first since his confirmation almost a year ago:

  • Pruitt said he didn’t remember predicting in a 2016 interview that Donald Trump would abuse the Constitution more than Barack Obama did if elected president.
  • Be smart: Pruitt joins a long list of conservative politicians who criticized candidate Trump during the campaign, but went on to pledge their support to the president following his election.
  • Pruitt said he was still considering some sort of public debate about climate-change science, but he didn’t provide many details beyond that.
    • Reality check: Most scientists agree human activity is the driving cause of a warmer planet over the last century. The debate should exist around what policies governments should impose to address the associated risks.
  • He wouldn’t say whether he would seek to review a scientific finding on climate change that Obama's EPA issued in 2009.
    • Reality check: Trump's EPA is working to write a pared-down rule cutting carbon emissions from power plants, a subtle indication the agency isn’t going to touch the finding, which legally underpins that rule.
  • Pruitt indicated he doesn’t support California’s fuel-efficiency standards driving stronger federal standards by saying federalism “doesn’t mean one state has the ability to dictate the rest of the country.”
    • Yes, but: He’s said things like this before, and the big auto companies don't want him to revoke that waiver, as it would create a regulatory mess for them.

Go deeper

20 mins ago - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Political world reacts to Biden tapping Kamala Harris as running mate

Sen. Kamala Harris and Joe Biden at a campaign event in March. Photo: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Democrats from across the party — including some of the women on Joe Biden's vice-presidential shortlist — are championing his historic appointment of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.

What they're saying: "Joe Biden nailed this decision," former President Barack Obama wrote in a lengthy statement. "By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,166,415 — Total deaths: 738,266 — Total recoveries: 12,388,925Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,124,050 — Total deaths: 164,329 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Florida reports another daily record for deaths State testing plans fall short of demand.
  4. Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 2 has a personal connection to COVID-19.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. 🏈 Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.