Kamala Harris. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kamala Harris wants to use the power of the presidency to close the gender pay gap.

Driving the news: Her new proposal: Use executive action to ensure federal contractors act first, then get Congress to fine big companies 1% of profits for every 1% of pay gap.

  • Past federal legislation put the burden on employees to sue or report their employers if gender-based pay discrimination was suspected.

The big picture: While other 2020 Democrats have talked about unequal pay or more transparency from companies, Harris' proposal is the most concrete.

Details: Legislative action would be required to impose her policy on private corporations.

  • Companies with 100+ employees would have to obtain an “equal pay certification” every two years from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Companies would have to prove pay gaps for similar jobs are based on something other than gender.
  • This policy could generate $180 billion in 10 years, Harris' campaign estimates.
  • That revenue would be spent on paid family and medical leave programs.

What they're saying: “Closing the wage gap would mean tens of millions for women and their families," Vicki Shabo, a senior fellow at nonpartisan think tank New America, told HuffPost.

  • "It could wipe out student loan debt, give relief to homeowners, and literally put food on the table. It’s something that can help stimulate the economy.”
  • Yes, but: "Penalties tend to slow compliance and undermine the goals that they seek to achieve," said Joseph Vaughan, executive director of Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Forum, a trade group. "I'm always concerned when people introduce policies with punitive fines and penalties that it will never be enacted into law."

The bottom line: If things continue as is, women won't get equal pay until 2059.

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In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.