Jul 12, 2017

House passes bill to renew FDA user fees

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The House passed a bipartisan bill this afternoon to reauthorize the user fees that help pay for the Food and Drug Administration's oversight of drugs and medical devices. The trouble-free passage happened largely because Republicans and Democrats resisted attempts to add more divisive measures, like the Trump administration's proposal to make the industry pay the full cost of medical product reviews.

What's next: The Senate has had its version ready to go since May, when the HELP Committee approved the companion bill. But it can't come to the floor until the Senate deals with that other health care bill you might have heard about. HELP Committee chairman Lamar Alexander has said he wants a final FDA bill to clear Congress before the August recess — which is now starting late.

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3 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.