Congressional members during the first session of the 116th Congress Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House on Thursday evening passed the bulk of a package of Democratic rules changes, which includes the creation of a select committee on climate change and an exemption to a ban on hats that would allow members to wear religious headwear on the floor.

Why it matters: Three progressive Democrats — Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-N.Y.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) — publicly expressed their opposition and voted against the package due to concerns over the pay-as-you-go provision (PAYGO), which requires all new spending bills to be offset by equal cuts or tax increases. Ocasio-Cortez said such a rule would "hamstring progress on healthcare and other legislation."

Other details of the package:

  • Requires annual ethics training for all members.
  • Prohibits members from serving on corporate boards.
  • Permits members to wear religious headscarves on the floor.
  • Creates two new select committees on the modernization of Congress and the climate crisis.
  • Requires members to pay for discrimination settlements.
  • Prohibits members and committee staffers from having sexual relationships with one another.
  • Requires indicted members to step back from committee and leadership positions.
  • Requires a majority of either party to start the process to oust the speaker, rather than just one member.
  • Limits power of the majority to block action on measures relating to the War Powers Act. House Republicans blocked action on plans that would end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s role in the civil war in Yemen late last year.
  • Renews the "Gephardt Rule," which raises the debt ceiling automatically when the House passes a budget.
  • Eliminates dynamic scoring as a technique for predicting the effects of fiscal policy.
  • Requires pieces of legislation with the backing of at least 290 members to be debated and brought to the floor.

Go deeper: The Democrats who voted against Pelosi for speaker

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.