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Robin Groulx / Axios

The FCC is moving to pull back one aspect of an Obama-era effort to reform to a program that subsidizes internet and phone service for low-income people, possibly presaging a larger effort to change the program.

The details:

  • Under Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC expanded the Lifeline program to cover broadband and said that the companies that provide that service could be approved by the federal government, rather than on a state-by-state basis. Some states sued over that change.
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Wednesday that while he supports including broadband in the program, "the FCC will soon begin a proceeding to eliminate the new federal designation process." It will also stop defending the process in court, and Pai said the agency should reject the applications submitted through the process.

Why it matters: This is just the beginning of a battle over the future of Lifeline. Pai drew headlines earlier this year when he moved to rescind the certification of several Lifeline providers approved under Wheeler — including among the applications he thinks should be rejected — and wants major changes to the program. Mignon Clyburn, currently the commission's only Democrat, said in a statement that Pai's "statement confirms that under this Administration low-income Americans will have less choice for Lifeline broadband, and potential providers who want to serve low-income Americans will face greater barriers to entry and regulatory uncertainty."

What we're watching: Whether this changes which companies — or how many — come to the table to provide broadband service through the program, since they will no longer be able to get certified through a centralized federal process.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump, per AZCentral.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of Trump loyalist Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”