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 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!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Mike Pence. Photos: Getty Images

2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg's increasingly tough back-and-forth with Vice President Mike Pence is only the latest chapter in a political saga that predates the 2016 election and Buttigieg's 2020 presidential run, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., would be the first openly gay U.S. president if elected, and Pence, who previously served as Indiana's governor, has a history of taking a stance against LGBTQ rights largely on the grounds of religious freedom.

The big picture: Democratic strategists told the AP that Buttigieg was "often reluctant to take on the then-governor directly or forcefully" in response to Indiana policy during Pence's tenure in office.

  • After Pence signed the state's "religious freedom" law, which was largely characterized as anti-LGBTQ, Buttigieg tweeted his disappointment. He affirmed his focus to work "across the aisle" with the former governor a few weeks later at a Pence event.

What they're saying now:

  • Buttigieg told the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch last Sunday, "My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God. ... That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."
  • In response, Pence said in a CNN interview that he and Buttigieg "worked very closely together when I was governor, and I considered him a friend. And he knows I don't have a problem with him." He added later, "I think Pete's quarrel is with the First Amendment. All of us in this country have the right to our religious beliefs."

Of note: Buttigieg focused on his experience as a veteran when framing his coming out story. This strategy, as other candidates share 2020-friendly personal anecdotes, is the first of its kind on a presidential campaign trail.

  • "When I came out in 2015 it was for the simple reason that I was finally ready. I had been wrestling with my sexuality for years. And if I had not deployed to Afghanistan I might have never have found the courage to come out," he said.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Pete Buttigieg

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
17 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's plan to upend Trump's environmental legacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will on Wednesday order a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules.

Why it matters: New information from transition officials offers the full scope of Biden's imminent, inauguration-day burst of environmental and energy policy moves.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
18 mins ago - Health

The public health presidency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden will take office today facing a challenge none of his modern predecessors have had to reckon with — his legacy will depend largely on how well he handles a once-in-a-century pandemic that's already raging out of control.

The big picture: Public health tends to be relatively apolitical and non-controversial. The limelight in health care politics typically belongs instead to debates over costs and coverage. But that will all change for the Biden administration.

D.C. braces for economic hit from scaled-back inauguration

Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The days leading up to and including Inauguration Day typically generate $31.4 million in additional sales for D.C. businesses — but not this year.

Why it matters: Washington's economy is already suffering from pandemic-induced closures, and could very much use the revelry and tourist dollars that Inauguration Day brings — instead of the large bills that will pile up if there's further mayhem or if visitors continue to stay away.