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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on a plan that would block a big federal program from buying gear or services from companies that “pose a national security threat” to U.S. communications networks. FCC Chair Ajit Pai made the announcement Monday.

The backdrop: Pai didn’t say what companies or countries the measure will target. But his move comes days after he wrote congressional lawmakers about security concerns over "Huawei and other Chinese technology companies."

Be smart: Some U.S. security experts have raised concerns that Chinese-made devices and software might contain "back doors" or other risks. But the program at issue, the FCC's Universal Service Fund, provides subsidies for people who can’t afford digital access. So this national security move might also be a feint in the Trump administration's trade war.

Go deeper

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.