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Damage to the First Baptist Church of Rockport after Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, Texas last year. Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has revised its rules to allow private nonprofit houses of worship to be eligible for disaster disaster relief funds to assist with damages from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Why it matters: The move announced on Tuesday comes more than three months after President Trump waded into an ongoing legal challenge by suggesting that churches should be able to get federal disaster relief funds. The suit involves three Texas churches severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year that accused the federal agency of religious discrimination, per the AP.

What it means: Religious institutions could now be qualified for assistance as "community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature," FEMA said.

The rule change would affect properties that sustained damage from a major disaster on or after Aug. 23 2017 or that had unresolved applications pending before with FEMA as of that date.

Facilities primarily used for political, athletic, religious, recreational, vocational, or academic training, conferences, or similar activities are ineligible, the agency said.

Go deeper

The elusive political power of Mexican Americans

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
51 mins ago - Health

The barriers to vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut they face numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a series of amendments overnight into early Saturday morning.