Dec 8, 2017

Ethics committee to probe Rep. Farenthold over harassment claims

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday said it has launched an investigation into Rep. Blake Farenthold amid allegations that he sexually harassed a former aide and then retaliated when she complained about it.

Why it matters: Politico reported last week that a $84,000 sexual harassment settlement was paid by the Office of Compliance in 2014, using tax-payer funds, following allegations against Farenthold. Farenthold said this week he will repay the money, adding "I want to be clear that I didn't do anything wrong, but I also don't want taxpayers to be on the hook for this."

The panel will also examine whether the Texas Republican had discriminated against the staffer on the basis of her gender, retaliated against her for complaining of discriminatory conduct and made inappropriate statements to other staffers.

What's happening:

  • Rep. Mia Love became the second House Republican to call on Farenthold to resign on Thursday evening, following Rep. Barbara Comstock.
  • Bech K. Bruun, chairman of the Texas Water Development Board, has reportedly resigned from his post and is expected to run to unseat Farenthold.

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Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 6,294,222 — Total deaths: 376,077 — Total recoveries — 2,711,241Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

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Adapted from EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As is often the case, the staggering job losses in the coronavirus-driven recession have been worse for black workers.

By the numbers: According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, titled "Racism and economic inequality have predisposed black workers to be most hurt by coronavirus pandemic," more than 1 in 6 black workers lost their jobs between February and April.

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Reproduced from Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

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What they're saying: It predicts that when adjusted for inflation GDP will be $7.9 trillion lower over the next decade and down by $790 billion in the second quarter of this year — a 37.7% quarterly contraction.