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Robin Groulx / Axios

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is placing more "safeguards" on a subsidy program for the poor, per a letter sent Tuesday. The Lifeline program was recently expanded from only covering phone service to to include broadband.

What Pai wants: He wants the non-profit that administers Lifeline to implement changes like auditing the companies that provide the subsidized service to check for "ineligible" subscribers and increasing oversight of the individual salespeople who work for the carriers.

Why it matters: Pai is acting on his longtime criticism of the program, which he says is fraught with waste and fraud. It also sets up a fight over a program that many low-income Americans rely on.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
9 mins ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.

Hollywood's big awards shows are in trouble

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Ratings for the Golden Globes on NBC likely fell to a record low Sunday, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen.

The big picture: The pandemic has sped up the trend of ratings declines.