May 13, 2019

News Shapers: News of the Day

Rep. Adam Schiff at last Friday's News Shapers event with Mike Allen. Photo: Lawrence Johnson for Axios

Last Friday, Axios' Mike Allen talked news of the day with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louis.), and Supermajority founder Cecile Richards.

Chairman Adam Schiff, California

Chairman Schiff told Mike Allen that Rudy Giuliani's trip to Ukraine to ask President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate opponents of President Trump is an illustration of how the "ethical standards of the country are being dumbed down."

I give Giuliani credit for consistency. He said just a few weeks ago that there's nothing wrong with seeking help from a foreign power. ... The fact that he would be so open about it, boastful almost, doing it with the knowledge and support of the president — it takes your breath away. I continue to think I'll cease to be shocked. And then I'm shocked again.

Go deeper: Schiff on Giuliani's Ukraine trip: "It just takes your breath away"

Rep. Adam Schiff and Mike Allen. Photo: Lawrence Jackson for Axios

Schiff also discussed the need for a swifter process to enforce Congressional subpoenas. For now, the House is considering reviving its "inherent contempt" power, which would allow Congress to enforce subpoenas through coercive measures like fines.

Why it matters, from Axios' Zachary Basu, House Democrats don't have much power to enforce their subpoenas if the Trump administration continues its strategy of stonewalling congressional oversight. Schiff noted that the White House has already been successful in drawing out the timeline, and that House leadership will have to consider "extraordinary" measures in order to ensure that Congress remains a co-equal branch of government.

  • Schiff also said that he believes Democrats will obtain Trump's tax returns this year, though it may take months to litigate in the courts: "The legislation is abundantly clear. The commissioner 'shall' provide."
Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana
Rep. Steve Scalise and Mike Allen on the Axios stage. Photo: Lawrence Jackson for Axios

House Republican Whip Scalise spoke about the levers of influence Republicans can pull after the change from majority to minority party in the House. His approach has been to highlight the contrast between bills based on conservative principles versus the "far-left" bills that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has brought to the floor; hoping to showcase why conservative bills are better at keeping the economy going.

When asked about the Trump Administration's policy of refusing document requests from the House, Scalise applauded the president for being "focused on doing his job. He was elected to get this country back on track, and it's working."

Cecile Richards, Supermajority founder
Cecile Richards and Mike Allen. Photo: Lawrence Jackson for Axios

Former Planned Parenthood head and Supermajority founder Cecile Richards told Mike Allen that the right to legal abortion in this country is "absolutely at risk" — the wave of anti-abortion bills introduced in state legislatures, along with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court being the causes.

Go deeper: Cecile Richards on wave of state abortion bills: "I've never seen anything like it"

Richards' new organization, Supermajority, aims to train and mobilize women to become organizers and activists ahead of the 2020 election. She said if current trends continue, women will comprise 53-54% of the electorate that turn out in 2020.

Her take on...

  • Sexism among 2020 candidates: "I want all the candidates to be asked about them [women's issues]."
  • Women that want to be more politically active: "Start before you're ready."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

LATAM Airlines files for U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy

A LATAM air attendant aboard one of the company's planes in March. Photo: Kike Calvo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

LATAM Airlines Group SA said in a statement early Tuesday the firm and its affiliates in in the United States, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Why it matters: Latam is Latin America's largest airline and its shareholders include Delta Air Lines. CEO Roberto Alvo noted in the statement the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the airline industry.

Novavax starts human trials for coronavirus vaccine

Novavax's Nita Patel with a computer model showing the protein structure of a potential coronavirus vaccine at the lab in Gaithersburg, Maryland in March. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Novavax began clinical trials of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus in Australia on Tuesday, per a statement from the Maryland-based biotechnology firm.

The state of play: 131 volunteers in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Brisbane will undergo injections as part of the study, the company’s research chief Gregory Glenn said during a briefing, per Australian Associated Press.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,495,061 — Total deaths: 346,232 — Total recoveries — 2,231,738Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,662,302 — Total deaths: 98,220 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy