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Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Sen. John Thune, who chairs the Senate's powerful Commerce Committee, announced his tech plans for the next two years at conference on Monday:

  • Passing a bill to encourage the deployment of government-held wireless airwaves
  • Doing more to expand internet access through standalone laws and in President Trump's rumored infrastructure plan
  • Using legislation to settle the long-running debate over how to protect net neutrality, or the idea that all content should be treated equally by internet providers
  • Overhauling the laws governing the FCC
  • Keeping an eye on the development of self-driving cars.

The bigger picture: Many of Thune's priorities line up with those of his House counterpart, Oregon Republican Greg Walden. The question now is how they will work together on issues like broadband deployment and net neutrality. Thune will work closely with newly-named FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who also opposes net neutrality and has been in favor of overhauling the agency.

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Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

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New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

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

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.