Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Chuck Kennedy

Mike Allen sat down with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at this morning's Axios News Shapers event.

Toplines: He says tax reform will get done in 2017, doesn't know the timing on infrastructure, disagrees with Trump on Comey and thinks the GOP can keep the House in 2018.

On policy...

  • Taking responsibility on health care: "I accept that we will get hit for this. We're in leadership, we don't have a choice, we're a majority...I just don't think from a moral standpoint that's something we can do. We have to intervene to fix this problem because real people are actually getting hurt."
  • The AHCA vote: "I'm glad we went through it. It was very cathartic."
  • His message to insurers: "My hope is that you stick it out in the marketplace so you're there to catch people when the help arrives which is a more helpful, more vibrant marketplace."
  • His hope for health care: "Let's just buck up as a society and pay for the catastrophic illnesses."
  • His takeaway from Trump's budget: "We have a president who, for the first time in 8 years, said, 'Let's actually balance the budget'…I think that's refreshing."
  • Infrastructure: "I don't know what the timing of that will be for that as much because we've got to come up with the fiscal space."
  • Border adjustment tax: "Full immediate border adjustment would be too disruptive — nobody's advocating for that."

On Trump...

  • Branding Comey a "nut job": "Yeah, I don't agree with that. And he's not."
  • Calling him a Boy Scout: "I took it as a compliment. I'm not sure it was meant that way. We're just different people."
  • His best quality: "His best quality is his energy and his engagement...When he sees a goal he wants to achieve, health care is a perfect example, he just focuses on it. He has no pretension about him."

On Congress...

  • How Americans perceive Congress: "They think that everything is in chaos. It really actually isn't. We're focused and determined to get our work done."
  • The GOP's chances to keep the House: "I think they're excellent because we're in the midst of keeping our promises."
  • Most inconvenient thing about being Speaker: "Time management. I'm taking my kids fishing this weekend, it's Memorial Day weekend, but I had to schedule that four months ago."

1 fun thing, GIPHYs in texts: "These things are awesome. I learned about this like three weeks ago….I send them to people who wouldn't expect them from me. I got one with Britney Spears doing this. These things are pretty damn funny."

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.