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GOP Rep. Greg Walden is a key voice on telecom issues. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight over telecom issues, said Monday that he does not support a draft plan produced by a Trump national security official that proposed nationalizing a 5G network.

"We’re not Venezuela," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) on stage at a Washington conference. "We don’t need to have the government run anything as the only choice."

  • Walden said the proposal — which he learned about when Axios first reported it on Sunday night — made him think about the massive Office of Personnel Management hack. "Now, a government that can’t protect the data of its own employees, I just struggle with the notion it’s going to run a complete architecture and network that will be hack free," he said.

Why it matters: The proposal has drawn criticism from every member of the Federal Communications Commission and the wireless industry. Now, congressional Republicans are also speaking out against it.

This post has been updated with more comments from Walden.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.