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Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Come 2021, American cities will be able to look to New York to determine whether traffic can be reduced if you tax it.

Catch up quick: Cars and trucks will pay fees, based on the time of day and day of week, to enter Manhattan south of 60th street. (Passenger cars will only be charged once per day.) The fees will be set by the same authority that runs the subway, with the cash intended for much-needed capital improvements (including that subway).

  • Flashback: Michael Bloomberg tried and failed to make this happen a decade ago.

The big picture, by Axios' Felix Salmon: This isn’t really about cars at all, it’s about the subway. So long as the subway was working, congestion pricing couldn’t get off the ground. The minute the subway started falling apart, congestion pricing started being possible. (Also, of course, getting Democratic control of the New York Senate was huge.)

  • The main thing about the New York plan is it gives policymakers a dial they can turn. You just want to implement the mechanism in the first instance, then you can start worrying about the optimal price.

What's next: "Congestion pricing, as New York has proposed, uses tolling to dissuade vehicles from entering certain districts during select hours," Axios Expert Voices contributor Jim Barbaresso wrote in March.

  • "Tolling [autonomous vehicles] could encourage shared rides and reliance on other transit options, which would keep congestion in check. It could also serve to replace funds from fuel taxes, which won’t apply to electrically powered AVs."

The bottom line: Plenty of cities will be watching to see whether the potential gains from congestion pricing are worth the political headache that comes attached.

Go deeper: Charles Komanoff on why exemptions from congestion pricing are a bad idea.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”