Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Pockmarks from bullets fired at the doors to the House of Representatives during the Capitol siege. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Families of the people who died in Wednesday's attack on the Capitol — and others who were there — will have a hard time filing suit or recovering damages from the federal government.

Why it matters: That's because the government is self-insured, and thus largely protected from such claims. Normally, a public disturbance of the size and scale seen this week might trigger lawsuits, but that might prove difficult in this case.

Where it stands: Since the U.S. government is self-insured, it has no commercial insurance.

  • "Any damage, lawsuits, necessary repairs, or expenses are paid for by U.S. Government resources," per the Insurance Information Institute.
  • From a liability perspective, the Federal Tort Claim Act will likely protect the government from any lawsuits, should the estates of the people who were killed decide to sue.
  • That 1946 law means that "suing a federal government entity for damages in a personal injury claim is more challenging than suing a private citizen or corporation," per Justia.

Different rules apply for the family of Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained while confronting protesters:

  • The Capitol police are under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia; their workers compensation includes death benefits.
  • "The Capitol Police can’t sue the federal government under workers comp," which provides immunity from negligence, Loretta L. Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, tells Axios.
  • However, the family or estate of a Capitol police officer could sue third parties if they believe they were negligent — so that could include the rioters, she added.

The backstory: "It appears the government has been self-insured because of the enormity of the costs if it were through the regular market," Worters said, citing a 1972 report to Congress on the issue.

  • While the situation would seem to protect the feds from claims, "there could be an issue with the fact the government knew about the demonstration" in advance and could have been better prepared, Worters said.
  • ‘This is such a fluid thing and so different from anything we’ve ever seen," she added.

Go deeper

FBI seeking felony cases "tied to sedition" in far-reaching probe of Capitol siege

A pro-Trump mob at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The FBI has opened files into over 170 people and made charges in over 70 cases as it investigates the fatal siege on the Capitol, acting U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin told reporters on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The myriad of investigations facing the agency include felony cases "tied to sedition and conspiracy," assault on local and federal officers, theft of mail, potential theft of national security information, felony murder, and at least one civil rights excessive force investigation, Sherwin said.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.