Policymaking

The big picture

The members of Congress departing in 2020

More Republicans than Democrats are exiting Congress in the lead up to the 2020 elections.

Updated Feb 26, 2020
House Democrats' climate bill aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

It's not going to be popular with the party's progressives.

Jan 9, 2020
Congress' partisan divide on paid family leave

Both parties like the idea but disagree on who should pay for it.

Nov 25, 2019
How many steps it takes to get an abortion in each state

State legislatures have tried to restrict abortion procedures since Roe v. Wade.

Updated Sep 19, 2019

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Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.

Lindsey Graham says Senate will hold hearings on police use of force

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Photo: CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold hearings on the use of force by police, the committee's chair Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said Friday.

Why it matters: The announcement comes amid national outrage at the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The hearings aim to "shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation," Graham wrote.

Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay: "You want a pause? Tell that to the virus"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lambasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday for delaying moving forward on the next coronavirus relief package.

The big picture: McConnell has said for weeks that Congress should wait until it has assessed the impact of the $2 trillion CARES Act passed in March.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

Rubio warns fellow Republicans of Russian disinformation amid push to probe Obama officials

Sen. Marco Rubio. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images

Acting Senate Intelligence Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned his fellow Republicans in an interview with Politico not to fall victim to Russian disinformation as they move to probe the involvement of Obama administration officials, including Joe Biden, in the opening of the Russia investigation.

The big picture: Rubio has so far been reluctant to embrace ideas like "Obamagate," the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama ordered such investigations in order to undermine the incoming Trump administration, and he has distanced himself from GOP-led investigations into Biden's affairs in Ukraine.

House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting

Photo: Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

20 House Republicans plan to file a lawsuit late Tuesday against Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an effort to block the chamber's new proxy voting system amid the coronavirus pandemic, three congressional sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The lawsuit, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, alleges the rules are unconstitutional because the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to conduct business. The lawsuit was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Small businesses left in limbo as Senate waits to pass PPP extension

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate failed millions of small businesses Thursday by ending its week without passing an extension to the number of weeks that PPP loan recipients have to use their funds.

Why it matters: People may lose their jobs while politicians dither.

The next big fights between cities and states

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Legal battles between cities and states are expected to intensify in the coming months with dust-ups over municipal broadband networks, paid sick leave and affordable housing policies at the forefront.

Why it matters: After some high-profile disputes with governors over pandemic-related restrictions, some mayors are emboldened in pushing back on state laws prohibiting city-level policies that, they say, will be important to recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Order allowing border agents to expel migrants extended indefinitely

A border crosser wears a mask for protection. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indefinitely extended its public health order on Tuesday, empowering border agents to quickly expel migrants who cross the border illegally.

Why it matters: The order will be reviewed every 30 days. Border agents have already used the authority to expel more than 20,000 migrants, including asylum seekers and children, in less than 2 months, according to DHS data.

Roe v. Wade plaintiff said she was paid to support anti-abortion movement

Norma McCorvey testifies before a Senate subcommittee on the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 2003. She told the panel she believed the case was wrongly decided. Photo: Chris Kleponis/AFP via Getty Images

Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that protected women's abortion rights, told a documentary crew in a 2017 "deathbed confession" that she was paid to support the anti-abortion movement during the later years of her life, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What she said: "I was the big fish. I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they’d put me out in front of the cameras and tell me what to say. That’s what I’d say," McCovey told the makers of "AKA Jane Roe," which premieres Friday on FX.

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