Why it matters: As Joe Biden prepares to take over the White House and preside over what will likely be a divided Congress, President Trump is taking a defiant approach to his departure — making lame-duck moves to settle personal scores and enacting final measures to put a lasting stamp on the U.S. government.
Federal net neutrality rules are back on the table in the Biden administration, after being nixed by Trump, but now might be complicated by the debate over social media companies' behavior.
Axios Re:Cap digs into why net neutrality matters and what comes next with Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge and host of the Decoder podcast.
The House voted 326-78 on Thursday to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm President Biden's nominee for defense secretary as early as this week.
Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.
"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first 6 weeks in office.
The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.
50% of Americans changed their investing strategy after seeing the result of the presidential election, according to a Harris Poll survey for Empower Retirement and Personal Capital shared exclusively with Axios.
Why it matters: The election and the intense news cycles following it were perceived, correctly, as an inflection point of historical proportions. Doing nothing is hard in such situations, even if sticking to your long-term plan is what most financial advisers would recommend.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.
President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.
Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.
Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.
President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and has "confidence in the job he is doing," White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet Thursday.
The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.
We've written plenty about the big institutional and political headwinds facing Biden's agenda, so here's one of the tailwinds: falling prices for zero-carbon power tech.
Driving the news: A new analysis looking at one of them finds that utility-scale solar is already the cheapest form of new power generation in 16 states.
The Biden administration is unlikely to leverage sports as a culture war in the same way that President Trump's did.
The big picture: The longstanding tradition of champions visiting the White House — dating back to the 1860s but becoming a more regular practice in the past half century — changed significantly in the past four years.
Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.
What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.
The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.
Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.
Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.
Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.
Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios special series takes you inside the collapse of a president.
Amanda Gorman, 23, the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate, referenced everything from scripture to "Hamilton" — and echoed JFK and MLK — in a performance at the Biden-Harris swearing-in that captivated America.
Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.
Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.
On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
On his first full day on the job, President Biden will move quickly to translate his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into policy — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives.
Why it matters: The hands-on federal effort marks a significant change from the Trump administration, which put states in charge of many of the logistical details of their pandemic responses.
World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.
Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton wished President Biden well and spoke of coming together in a "peaceful transition of power" in a video organized by the inaugural committee Wednesday.
What they're saying: Obama noted "we can have a fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other's common humanity and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us." Clinton said Biden had spoken form them in his unifying address, "now you will lead for us and we're ready to march with you." Bush added, "Your success is our country's success."
Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.
Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.
The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.
Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.
Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.
Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.
The company behind the wildly popular video game franchise Fortnite, which is suing Apple over alleged anti-competitive practices, hired its first lobbyists this month to “monitor” antitrust issues in Washington.
Why it matters: Epic Games’ case against Apple has potentially huge legal and financial stakes. The company’s decision to enlist K Street veterans with connections on both sides of the aisle indicates it is tuning into D.C., where both parties have railed against anti-competitive practices in the tech industry.
The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.
Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.
President Biden warned dozens of staffers and appointees Wednesday to treat everyone with respect, or else “I will fire you on the spot.”
What he's saying: Everyone, regardless of their background, is "entitled to be treated with decency and dignity. That’s been missing in a big way the last four years," Biden said at the virtual swearing-in ceremony for incoming administrators. "I expect you to do that for all the folks you deal with."
In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.
Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.
President Biden on Wednesday appointed acting leaders to federal agencies to temporarily hold the posts until the Senate can confirm his nominees.
Why it matters: The impeachment trial for former President Trump will prevent the chamber from confirming Biden's nominees and may inhibit his efforts to heal the country and its economy.
Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.
Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.