May 5, 2019

House Freedom Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus unite on infrastructure

Reps. Jim Jordan and Elijah Cummings. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Today in strange bedfellows: The ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus share enthusiasm for the same bill — an infrastructure package with bipartisan and pan-ideological enthusiasm.

What's more, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is onboard. The Intercept's Ryan Grim summed up these unusual political dynamics in a tweet: "Here's Breitbart writing about Kevin McCarthy endorsing the use of a CBC-backed bill to make an infrastructure deal happen. Worlds are colliding."

Details: As we reported last year, the bill — called the Generating American Infrastructure and Income Now (GAIIN) Act — would require the Department of Agriculture to sell its distressed debt assets, estimated to be worth more than $50 billion.

  • The money gained by selling off these assets would be divided in two: Half would go to paying down the national debt, and half would go to funding infrastructure projects in communities below the poverty level.

In a Saturday phone interview, Wendell Stemley, the president of the National Association of Minority Contractors, told me he's backing the GAIIN Act. "Like everybody, we want to see a fully funded infrastructure bill," he said. "But one that accomplishes some of those objectives without raising the national debt and additional taxes has got to be something we get behind."

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Trump flags travel adversaries for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said Saturday night the CDC would issue a "strong" travel advisory" for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and that a "quarantine will not be necessary."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 mins ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states.

Why it matters: The president said hours earlier he was considering the move to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, most notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN it would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeper: Updates on coronavirus in the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 660,706 — Total deaths: 30,652 — Total recoveries: 139,304.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 121,478 — Total deaths: 2,026 — Total recoveries: 1,072.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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