Jan 4, 2017

House GOP still plans to kill that ethics office

But will be smarter about it next time.

What we're hearing: A top House Republican aide says haste was the cause of the "ridiculous, tone-deaf unforced error" when the GOP attempted in trying to cripple the Office of Congressional Ethics. Democrats in the Congressional Black Caucus also hate the OCE, seen by members as a "black hole."

That same Republican aide says:

We needed to build bridges to the other side.

The GOP will now quietly do precisely that — and revisit the issue later, with Trump and Democrats onboard.

Why it matters: Trump's tweet lambasting the original vote made it clear to members that they had handed the president-elect a club he could use any time they tried to buck him. But members recognize that folding in the face of the tweet makes them look weaker and him stronger as they begin their messy marriage.

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A closer look at how colleges can reopen

The campus of Brown University. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Masks in class, sports on hold, dorm life without roommates and summer 2021 classes for some: Brown University President Christina Paxson tells "Axios on HBO" it's all in play as colleges consider whether and how to safely reopen campuses in the fall.

Why it matters: An extended shutdown of U.S. colleges and universities would leave nearly 20 million students and 3 million employees with an uncertain future, but premature reopenings without proper coronavirus safeguards could jeopardize lives and force more closings.

How Disney World could host the NBA

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After weeks of speculation, the NBA announced Saturday that it is in early discussions to resume its season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

What they're saying: The NBA's most well-sourced reporter, Adrian Wojnarowski, says "everything is pointing toward" this happening, and that teams could start recalling players as soon as next week for a two-week quarantine period and formal training camp before heading to Florida.

U.S.-China trade tensions are escalating again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be subsiding in China, it's becoming clear that its targets for the phase one trade deal with the U.S. are unrealistic and there is so far no sign of a plan for renegotiation.

What's happening: White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Thursday the trade deal was "intact, and China has every intent of implementing it."