Axios Sneak Peek
February 03, 2021
⚡ Situational Awareness: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) spoke with Axios' Dan Primack for a Re:Cap podcast focused on GameStop, Reddit and Robinhood. Listen here.
Today's newsletter — edited by Glen Johnson — is 581 words, a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Schiff lobbying to be California's next AG
Rep. Adam Schiff is quietly lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies to appoint him California’s next attorney general, people familiar with the matter tell Axios' Hans Nichols and Kadia Goba.
Why it matters: If Newsom selects Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a confidant of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Democrats would lose a powerful party voice in the U.S. House and temporarily give up a seat in their slim 221-211 majority.
Nonetheless, Pelosi has given her approval to Schiff’s bid, a clear sign she thinks she can manage without him, according to the people familiar with the matter. Spokespersons for Schiff and Pelosi declined comment.
- The attorney general's job also would better position Schiff, a high-profile Democrat who led the Russia investigation into then-President Donald Trump, to run for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, should the 87-year-old decide not to run for reelection in 2024.
- The AG's job is being vacated by Xavier Becerra, who President Biden has nominated to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.
2. Chamber warns Biden not to submit to progressive wish
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging the Biden administration not to go around Republicans to pass the president’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, a move being pushed by the Democrats’ progressive wing, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Why it matters: The historically conservative group fears that if President Biden submits, it could foil any shot at bipartisanship for future legislation, such as highly anticipated plans for infrastructure and climate change bills.
- "When you start by doing things on a partisan basis, particularly when there's the opportunity for negotiation, it gets really hard to then go back to bipartisan discussions," Neil Bradley, the chamber's chief policy officer, said Tuesday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed some of these concerns at her daily briefing, telling reporters, "Republicans can engage and see their ideas adopted" during reconciliation.
- Through that process, Democrats could pass the package with a simple majority vote, instead of the usual 60 votes needed for major legislation.
3. Internet blackouts skyrocket amid global unrest
Internet blackouts are rising around the world when power hangs in the balance, write Axios Media Trends author Sara Fischer and Axios World editor Dave Lawler.
- Driving the news: Internet disruptions in Myanmar early Monday morning coincided with reports that top politicians, including the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, were being rounded up by the military.
At least 35 countries have restricted access to the internet or social media platforms at least once since 2019, according to Netblocks, a group that tracks internet freedom. Authorities have used the outages to reduce or prevent unrest — or to hide it from public view.
- Netblocks also reported disruptions in Russian cities during recent protests over the detention of Alexey Navalny. In addition, neighboring Belarus disrupted the internet during recent protests, as have countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe.
4. Poll: Influence to shift to Black people, women under Biden
A new Pew Research survey provides insight into how Americans anticipate power and influence in Washington, D.C., will shift under Biden, Axios' Stef Kight writes.
By the numbers: Nearly two-thirds of Americans think Black people and women will gain influence under the new president, while half say evangelical Christians — a group wooed and won over by former President Trump — will lose out.
One telling stat: Two out of every three Republicans said "people like yourself" would lose influence in Washington with Biden as president.
- Democrats now control the House, Senate and White House after four years of Republicans largely calling the shots. Still, three out of five Democrats said the influence of people like themselves would not be affected (50%) or would lessen (10%).
5. Pic du jour
A funeral bier in the Capitol Rotunda awaits the ashes tonight of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died defending the building on Jan. 6.
🙏 Thank you for reading tonight's Sneak. If you want to learn more about our corporate communications platform, AxiosHQ, register for next week's product rollout here.