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Gary Gensler at a 2013 Senate Banking Committee hearing. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 53-45 on Wednesday to confirm Gary Gensler as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Why it matters: Gensler, who chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under President Obama, is seen as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate financial giants.

Flashback: Gensler worked as a partner at Goldman Sachs for 18 years before joining the Treasury Department in 1997.

  • A progressive ally to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Gensler earned a reputation as an aggressive regulator and Wall Street foe while chairman of the CFTC.
  • Gensler may also be in a good position to further bridge the gap between the crypto industry and securities laws, given his ongoing and deep interest in cryptocurrency technology, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.

Go deeper: Biden SEC pick is no stranger to crypto industry

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.