There's been a lot of coverage of alleged "gag orders" that the Trump administration has issued to employees at various federal agencies, and now the one to Department of Health and Human Services employees has been released. It was included in a letter to the White House from two top House Democrats, Frank Pallone and Elijah Cummings, demanding that the administration reverse that order and others.

Here's the key language:

No correspondence to public officials (e.g., Members of Congress, Governors) or containing interpretations or statements of Department regulations or policy, unless specifically authorized by me or my designee, shall be sent between now and February 3, during which time you will have the opportunity to brief President Trump's appointees and designees on any such correspondence which might be issued.

In a letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn, the Democrats charge that the memos violate federal whistleblower protection laws. We've reached out to the administration for comment, and will keep you posted.

Go deeper

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Official says White House political appointees "commandeered" Bolton book review

John Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened." Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

A former career official at the National Security Council claims her pre-publication review of former national security adviser John Bolton's explosive book on President Trump was "commandeered by political appointees for a seemingly political purpose," according to a letter from her lawyers filed in court on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The White House fought against the publication of Bolton's book for most of the year on the grounds that it contained harmful and "significant amounts of classified information."

House Democrats unveil sweeping reforms package to curtail presidential abuses

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled sweeping legislation aimed at preventing presidential abuse and corruption, strengthening transparency and accountability, and protecting elections from foreign interference.

Why it matters: While the bill has practically no chance of becoming law while Trump is in office and Republicans hold the Senate, it's a pre-election message from Democrats on how they plan to govern should Trump lose in November. It also gives Democratic members an anti-corruption platform to run on in the weeks before the election.

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