Apr 4, 2019

Pence's economic adviser to lead home financing overhaul

Photo: RJ Sangosti/Denver Post/Getty Images

Mark Calabria was confirmed by the Senate in a vote of 55-44 to serve as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, wherein his primary task will be to overhaul the whole system, reports Politico.

Why it matters: Calabria, who has been the top economic adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, will oversee mortgage giants Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in his new role. The U.S. government seized these 2 companies during a bailout in 2008, and President Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday asking for the companies to be removed from government oversight.

What they're saying:

  • Pence was quick to applaud the nomination of Calabria on Twitter, who, he said, will lead with "distinction."
  • Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Calabria "a man who has said that 'extensive regulation' led to the financial crisis and 'bankers shouldn’t be blamed'!"
  • Sen. Sherrord Brown (D-Ohio) tweeted: "When discussing our housing system, our first goal has to be making it easier for Americans to afford housing. Nothing in Mark Calabria’s record indicates that he would put working families first if confirmed to lead @FHFA. The Senate must oppose his nomination."
  • Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) tweeted: "My former advisor, Mark Calabria, was just confirmed to serve as @FHFA director. This is excellent news for the #finance community in #AL & across the nation. I look forward to working w/ Mark in his new capacity as he uses his knowledge & experience to effectively lead the FHFA."

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Instacart workers set to strike during heart of coronavirus crisis

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some Instacart workers plan to go on strike today, arguing that the grocery delivery unicorn's recent increases in pay and safety equipment are insufficient.

Why it matters: Instacart has become a lifeline for many Americans either unable or unwilling to leave their homes, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 741,030 — Total deaths: 35,097 — Total recoveries: 156,838.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 143,527 — Total deaths: 2,572 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Public health updates: Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan — White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus death toll estimate is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Alaska becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

All Alaskans in the state are under a mandate to "remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing" except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: This is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide were asked to stay home Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health