An offshore production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Julie Dermansky / Corbis via Getty Images

With the Interior Department looking to greatly expand the coastal regions made available for oil and natural gas drilling, Florida GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney told Politico that House Speaker Paul Ryan has pledged to push for a ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: Republican support for President Trump's "energy dominance" agenda has a limit, and one of the areas most likely to fall off the final drilling plan is offshore Florida. NIMBYism — not in my backyard — is a tried and true practice. Florida's politicians from both parties have long opposed drilling off their coastline given the state's dependence on beach tourism and fears of an oil spill.

What they're saying, per Politico:

  • “There is a governmental funding bill that has to be passed later this month,” Gaetz told Politico. “Francis Rooney and I had a conversation about this with Speaker Ryan, who gave Rooney and I a commitment that eastern Gulf moratorium language will be in the must-pass bill.”
  • Rooney said he is drafting language to ensure the current moratorium doesn't expire, adding that Ryan said House leadership will assist his efforts.

Yesterday, Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) said that Rep. Rob Bishop, (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, "told him that a proposal extending the moratorium on drilling for 40 years would be brought up in his committee," Politico reported.

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
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