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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Chairman Ajit Pai is taking steps to curb some types of robocalls, a constant target of ire from lawmakers, regulators and consumers.

Proposal details:

  • Pai is proposing rules that would let phone carriers block numbers in certain instances of "spoofing," or making erroneous information appear on caller ID, for a robocalls.
  • He will also ask for comments on issues like blocking spoofed calls from overseas numbers and how the agency can work to make sure that legal calls aren't being blocked.
  • "Scammers and spammers use spoofing to disguise their identity, to trick consumers into answering unwanted calls, and to hide from authorities," Pai said in a blog post. "And under the FCC's current rules, which generally prevent call-blocking, there is not much that carriers can do to stop this."

Worth noting: The meat of the proposal is a notice of proposed rulemaking, which means that the commission would need to vote again after the public comments on it to actually implement the proposed rules.

Background: The telephone industry, led by AT&T, worked on solutions to the robocall problem in a task force convened by the FCC last year. But blocking unwanted calls while allowing legitimate calls to go through is complicated to address both legally and technologically.

Go deeper

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.

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