Politics & Policy

Why it matters: President Biden has made the COVID-19 crisis and a post-Trump return to national unity and traditional democratic ideals his top priorities. From vaccinations to stimulus to schools, Biden is seeking bipartisan compromise while showing a willingness to use executive authority and bare Democratic majorities in the U.S. House and Senate to implement his policies. Republican leaders are navigating deep party divisions over if and how to move beyond former President Trump.

All politics & policy stories

One dead and one officer injured in Knoxville high school shooting

The Knoxville Police Department in Tennessee on Monday said that one man died after officers responded to a report of "a male subject who was possibly armed" inside Austin-East Magnet High School.

Where it stands: A KPD officer was struck at least once and is being treated for injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening. Another man was detained for investigation and there are no other known gunshot victims, police said.

New Mexico legalizes recreational marijuana for people over 21

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Monday signed a bill that will legalize recreational marijuana for people over the age of 21.

The state of play: Lujan Grisham said in a statement following the state legislature's passage of the bill, "This is a significant victory for New Mexico. Workers will benefit from the opportunity to build careers in this new economy."

Over half of police-involved killings in 2020 began after non-violent incidents

Data: Mapping Police Violence; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

58% of police-involved killings in the U.S. last year began when officers responded to non-violent incidents, per the Mapping Police Violence database.

Why it matters: This week's lethal shooting of Daunte Wright near Minneapolis sparked new protests and comes in the wake of nationwide demonstrations against police violence.

Why the U.S. isn’t sharing its vaccine supply

The U.S. secured so many COVID-19 vaccine doses through its Operation Warp Speed contracts that we may soon be sitting on a surplus, even if booster shots are needed.

Axios Re:Cap is joined by Vanity Fair contributing editor Katherine Eban to discuss her recent reporting, which revealed how those contracts were structured and how the U.S. ended up with a stockpile it cannot distribute abroad.

George Floyd's brother gives emotional testimony at Chauvin trial

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother, gave an emotional testimony Monday about the role his brother played in his family and their community growing up.

The state of play: Philonise was the first member of Floyd's family to testify in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. His testimony lasted less than 10 minutes, and the defense chose not to cross-examine him.

Biden calls for "full-blown investigation" into Daunte Wright shooting

Biden in the White House on April 12. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden urged for "a full-blown investigation" into whether the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright on Sunday was acting intentionally or accidentally fired her weapon.

Driving the news: The "very senior officer" who fatally shot the 20-year-old Black man outside Minneapolis appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, Brooklyn Center Chief Tim Gannon said at a Monday press conference.

Minnesota Twins game postponed in wake of police killing of Daunte Wright

Byron Buxton No. 25 of the Minnesota Twins makes a catch in center field at Target Field in Minneapolis. Photo: Hannah Foslien via Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins postponed Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox out of respect for the "tragic events" surrounding the police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man on Sunday.

Why it matters: Daunte Wright's death, about 10 miles from the scene of George Floyd's killing, has sparked outcry and reignited Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
6 hours ago - Health

CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down"

Michigan can't vaccinate its way out of a COVID-19 spike, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing Monday, during which she called on the state "to close things down."

Why it matters: Michigan's average daily case count has jumped about seven times from a low point in February, per the New York Times. It's a reality check for the nation, CNN writes.

Biden names former top NSA officials to two key cyber roles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden has appointed former National Security Agency deputy director Chris Inglis and former NSA deputy director of counterterrorism Jen Easterly to two top cyber roles in the administration, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: Inglis will now be the nation's first national cyber director, and Easterly will run the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security. The appointments come as the White House is still dealing with the fallout over the 2020 SolarWinds cyberattack, which infiltrated multiple federal agencies.

  • Biden has vowed retaliation against Russia, which is suspected of the SolarWinds attack. He said in December that the breach is "a matter of great concern" and promised to impose "substantial costs" to those responsible.

Judge denies Chauvin lawyers' motion to sequester jury after Daunte Wright shooting

Scene of Daunte Wright shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minn. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The judge presiding over Derek Chauvin's murder trial denied a motion by the defense to sequester and question the jury in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright near Minneapolis Sunday night.

Why it matters: The defense argued that the police shooting of a Black man just miles away from where George Floyd died could influence the jury and result in prejudicial bias.

Will Smith's "Emancipation" becomes first major film production to pull out of Georgia

Left: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R). Right: Actor and producer Will Smith. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg and Paras Griffin via Getty Images

Actor Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua said Monday they are moving their upcoming film production, "Emancipation," out of Georgia in response to the state's new voting restrictions.

Why it matters: The passage of the law has spurred outrage across the U.S., with activists calling it a move to disenfranchise Black voters. Backed by Apple Studios, the slavery-era film is the first major production to leave the state due to the voting law, the New York Times reports.

Trump receives award from Senate GOP campaign arm despite attacks on McConnell

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The National Republican Senatorial Committee named former President Trump as the inaugural recipient of its "Champion for Freedom" award on Monday.

Why it matters: The award from Senate Republicans' campaign arm was presented the same weekend that Trump tore into Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a Republican event at Mar-a-Lago, calling him a "dumb son of a b*tch" and "stone cold loser."

Biden to nominate progressive Tucson police chief to lead border agency

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will nominate Tucson police chief Chris Magnus, a longtime critic of Trump-era immigration policies, to oversee Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: If confirmed, Magnus would be tasked with addressing a border surge that many have labeled the first new crisis of the Biden administration. The U.S. saw a massive spike in border crossings last month, including a record number of unaccompanied minors.

10 hours ago - World

McConnell praises Biden's response to Myanmar coup

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a longtime advocate of democracy in Myanmar, told Politico Monday the Biden administration is "trying to do the right thing" in responding to the Myanmar military coup.

What he's saying: "On the domestic front, I have not yet witnessed something that I’ve been happy about," McConnell said. "But in this area, I think their instincts are good. I think they’re trying to do the right thing."

White House scraps campaign promise for police oversight commission

Susan Rice. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House will not be moving forward with plans to establish a national police oversight commission, choosing instead to focus on police reform legislation, domestic policy czar Susan Rice told Politico.

Why it matters: Though the establishment of a police oversight commission in his first 100 days was one of President Biden's campaign promises, the administration now says that such a commission would be unnecessary given the amount of existing research on police practices.

Mike Allen, author of AM
12 hours ago - Economy & Business

CEOs plot next moves against restrictive voting laws after Zoom summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Top CEOs plan to get dramatically tougher on state legislators over proposed new restrictions on voting.

Driving the news: After a weekend Zoom summit, the CEOs are threatening to withhold campaign contributions — and to punish states by yanking investments in factories, stadiums and other lucrative projects.

Mike Allen, author of AM
12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi in new biography: "Politics is every minute of every day"

Cover: Twelve

Susan Page, USA Today's Washington bureau chief, conducted 10 interviews with Speaker Pelosi for a biography, "Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power," that's out April 20.

Pelosi encouraged friends and family members to cooperate with the book — including her husband, Paul.

Mike Allen, author of AM
12 hours ago - Economy & Business

First look: Top executives align against Biden tax hike

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Business Roundtable today will release a survey in which 98% of 178 CEOs polled said that increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, as President Biden proposed, would have a "moderately" to "very" significant adverse effect on their company’s competitiveness.

By the numbers: 75% of CEOs said an increased tax burden on U.S. companies would negatively affect investments in R&D and innovation.

Exclusive: White House targets McConnell, McCarthy in infrastructure push

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The White House is selling President Biden's $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan by projecting how much it will help each state — starting with Kentucky and California.

Why it matters: Tagging the homes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) not only puts them on the defensive, but warns other Republicans they'll have to explain why this bridge or that highway isn't something they can approve.

Exclusive: Hawley unveils "trust-busting" plan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Corporate giants would be barred from acquisitions and century-old antitrust laws would get sharper teeth under a new proposal by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) shared exclusively with Axios.

The big picture: Hawley is among the Senate's most conservative members, but his attack on corporate power wouldn't sound out of place on Elizabeth Warren's or Bernie Sanders' agenda.

Protests erupt after police shoot Black driver near Minneapolis

Protesters create a chalk circle that reads "Justice for Daunte Wright" in the street in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop near Minneapolis Sunday, sparking protests and unrest that lasted into the night.

Between the lines: The shooting in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center, in Hennepin County, has further heightened tensions between police and the local community as the trial continues of former police officer Derek Chauvin, over the death of George Floyd.

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia governor orders probe into pepper-spraying of Army officer

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, Va. in 2019. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Sunday he's directed the state police to conduct an independent investigation after video emerged showing two officers pepper-spraying and drawing guns on a U.S. Army lieutenant during a traffic stop.

Driving the news: Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is suing the police officers over the Dec. 5, 2020, incident. One of the officers involved, Joe Gutierrez, was fired Sunday.

Virginia police officer fired over pepper-spraying of Army lieutenant

A Windsor, Virginia, police officer accused of pepper-spraying U.S. Army Lieut. Caron Nazario, a Black and Latino man, during a traffic stop has been fired, authorities announced Sunday night.

Driving the news: Virginia's governor has ordered an investigation after video emerged of the incident involving Windsor Police Department officers Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez, which he called "disturbing." Gutierrez has now been fired, the Town of Windsor said late Sunday.

Nationwide far-right rallies fizzle

A protester at the rally extremists have been calling a "White Lives Matter" protest in Huntington Beach, California, on Sunday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Police in Huntington Beach, California, declared an unlawful assembly to "disperse an unruly crowd" at a far-right rally Sunday.

The big picture: Police arrested 10 people at the so-called "white lives matter" rally after clashes between the extremists and counter-protesters, the Los Angeles Times reports. It was one of several poorly attended far-right protests held across the U.S. Sunday, per NBC News.

21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rep. Dan Kildee says Capitol riot left him with post-traumatic stress

Rep. Dan Kildee during a news conference last Julyin Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) opened up to "NBC Nightly News" in an interview broadcast Sunday evening about being left with post-traumatic stress following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.

Driving the news: Kildee shared with NBC footage he filmed on his phone of rioters storming Congress as he huddled with other lawmakers inside the complex.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell says U.S. economy is at an "inflection point"

A screenshot of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that the U.S. economy is at an "inflection point," with growth and job creation forecasts looking strong.

Of note: In his interview with CBS' Scott Pelley, Powell said it's "highly unlikely" the Fed would raise interest rates this year.

More politics & policy stories