Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Thursday that she will not seek re-election in 2020.

Why it matters: The 82-year-old Lowey, who has served in Congress for 31 years, is responsible for all spending negotiations as chair of the House Appropriations Committee. The 17th district of New York that she represents is a Democratic stronghold that Hillary Clinton won by 20 points in 2016, according to Roll Call.

Between the lines: The retirement will have political implications for the New York Democratic Party, which is experiencing a widening divide between establishment figures and left-wing insurgents — exemplified by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's primary victory in 2018 over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley. Lowey was facing a primary challenge from 32-year-old progressive attorney Mondaire Jones.

Go deeper: More Republicans than Democrats leaving Congress before 2020 election

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.