Policymaking

The big picture

The cities that are already defunding the police

City leaders are calling for budget cuts or reallocated funds in at least 19 U.S. cities.

Jun 27, 2020
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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70% U.S. immigration officers face furloughs

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services naturalization ceremony. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

About 13,400 employees from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be furloughed by August due to a decline in revenue from immigration and visa application fees that help fund the agency, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: President Trump's administration has implemented many immigration policies that blocked non-Americans from entering the country's borders, separated families and delayed visas, drying up the agency's revenue.

New bill stokes long-running encryption fight in Washington

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress is gearing up for another run at passing encryption laws that proponents say will allow U.S. law enforcement to do its job and security experts say will make everyone’s communications less safe.

The big picture: As companies like Facebook and Apple encrypt more of their platforms by default, U.S. authorities fear the world is “going dark” on them. The consensus is stronger than ever among security experts, human rights advocates and the industry that weakening encryption hurts everyone.

House Democrats smooth over climate differences — for now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Democrats' new climate blueprint may be a wish list, but for now it has succeeded in one big respect: Avoiding a major flare-up of intra-left tensions over policy.

Driving the news: A lot of groups cheered the nearly 550-page plan yesterday, while criticisms from the left flank of the green movement were real but rather muted.

The big divide over the next stimulus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As lawmakers turn their attention to another coronavirus stimulus package, Republicans and Democrats each say they’ve learned many lessons from the $2 trillion CARES Act. The problem is, they can’t agree on what those lessons were.

Why it matters: With just an 11-day window in late July to act, and without the market free-fall of March to motivate them, Congress may choke on a compromise package that many economists see as necessary to keep the economy upright.

6 takeaways from the House Democrats' climate blueprint

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Democrats have released a 547-page template-slash-wish-list that could chart a path for the party to follow if they regain control of the Senate and the White House in this year's election.

The big picture: The plan from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis calls for net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050, net-zero power-sector emissions by 2040, and a zero-emissions requirement for 100% of light-duty vehicle sales by 2035, among other targets.

14 states would limit the participation of transgender students in athletics

A transgender flag unfurled outside the Supreme Court in 2018. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

14 state legislatures are considering bills that would limit transgender students' participation in athletics, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Why it matters: Though legislatures have halted action on the bills because of the coronavirus pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, they may resume consideration in upcoming special sessions.

Jun 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi extends House's remote voting period until Aug. 18

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that she is extending the House's historic remote voting period until Aug. 18 due to the ongoing public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The designated period, which began on May 20, marks the first time in history that congressional members have been able to vote remotely — in this instance, by directing another member to vote on their behalf. House Republicans have attacked the system as unconstitutional and sought to have it struck down in court in May.

Go deeper: How the pandemic is rewiring the future of Congress

Clyburn says House coronavirus committee won't recognize members who don't wear masks

Rep. James Clyburn. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The House's select committee on the coronavirus crisis will not recognize members who do not wear a mask while in session, Chair James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told his Republican colleagues in a letter sent Monday.

The big picture: The move comes after every Republican in the committee did not wear a mask at last Friday's hearing, despite being warned to do so prior to the meeting, according to Clyburn.

Elizabeth Warren introduces bill for nationwide eviction moratorium

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Monday to extend and expand a nationwide eviction moratorium to protect tenants who may be struggling to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic, Vox reports.

The big picture: The economic fallout has made it difficult for low-income renters to make timely payments, adding new burdens to the country's longstanding housing problems.

Supreme Court says CFPB's leadership structure is unconstitutional

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court said the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional, but that the agency can keep operating under new rules.

Why it matters: The court’s ruling will make it easier for future presidents to fire the leader of the powerful watchdog agency, making it more subject to political vicissitudes.

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