May 3, 2018

Farenthold refuses to pay for special election, says it's unnecessary

Blake Farenthold. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Blake Farenthold is refusing to pay for Texas' special election, the Houston Chronicle reports, saying in a letter that he "didn't call it" and doesn't "think it's necessary."

The details: Texas Governor Greg Abbott requested that the former Republican congressman pay $200,000 towards the election after Farenthold resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. Per the Chronicle, Farenthold defended himself in the letter, saying he never "engaged in physical harassment of a sexual nature," but ran "a more informal office than some people have have expected."

The response: Abbott's deputy communications director Ciara Matthews told the Chronicle: "[I]t's not surprising that his last act would be to stick taxpayers with the bill at the worst possible time. While Mr. Farenthold may consider this resolved, we're not closing the case on this issue."

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Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

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What a post-pandemic space industry might look like

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic could spell major trouble for dozens of small companies working to break into the space industry.

The big picture: SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and other companies are well-established with strong customer bases and robust portfolios, but the prospects for the industry's growth hinge on smaller companies.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,365,004— Total deaths: 76,507 — Total recoveries: 292,467Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 369,069 — Total deaths: 11,018 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January about the massive potential risks from the coronavirus.
  4. Federal government latest: The public wants the federal government, not states, in charge of coronavirus — Testing capacity is still lagging far enough behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks the governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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