RNC week: Axios co-founder Mike Allen hosted a conversation on the future of broadband access, featuring House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, FIL founder Frank Luntz and Microsoft President Brad Smith.

Frank Luntz discussed the need for investment in accessible broadband as a key part of upskilling and job training, especially during the economically turbulent pandemic.

  • On the necessity of broadband access: "This is not a political issue. This is not a partisan issue. Elected officials on the federal and state and local level have a responsibility to provide these programs so that people are able to make a difference in their lives."

Brad Smith highlighted how rural areas are severely impacted by lack of broadband access and the need to close this divide.

  • "Broadband is the electricity of our age. If you want to use a telehealth service. you need broadband. If you want to take a community college course online, you need broadband...But in so many of our rural communities in the United States today, that is missing."

Unpacking the relationship between Silicon Valley and DC, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy discussed worries in Congress about Big Tech and the outsize impact that large tech companies have on the flow of information.

  • "Their power is only getting larger, and in the world of COVID, it's getting larger because they have more influence. But I don't think they're forthcoming on a lot, I have real concerns on what Google has been doing."

Thank you Microsoft for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Republicans' internal conflict over diversity

Kevin McCarthy speaks at a press conference held by members of the mostly white male Republican caucus, Oct. 31, 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The aftermath of national protests around racial injustice is giving Republicans two strategic paths in their uphill fight to take back the majority in the House of Representatives — but those paths may be on a collision course.

The big picture: The GOP is leaning hard into courting women and people of color to be their candidates and to vote for them. They’re also running with Trump's law-and-order message to try to win back softening support with white, college-educated men. But it's hard to do both at the same time.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.