Policymaking

The big picture

6 takeaways from the House Democrats' climate blueprint

It calls for net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050.

Jun 30, 2020
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 policies that could help fix policing

Cultural changes are needed, but policy can be a starting point.

Jun 5, 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
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

All Policymaking stories

Pelosi: Trump is "messing with the health of our children" with push to open schools

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," accusing the Trump administration of "messing with the health of our children."

Why it matters: Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.

Supreme Court expands religious freedoms in schools, employment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court ended its term with a series of rulings on religion's role in schools, the workplace and access to health care.

Why it matters: The decisions elevated protections for people and employers of faith, while curtailing those of religion teachers, the nonreligious taxpayer and women who rely on their workplaces' health care plans for contraception.

Democrats seem aligned on climate policy, at least for the moment

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Getty Images photos: Ethan Miller and Brian Blanco

The six "unity" task forces that the Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders put together unveiled their policy recommendations yesterday.

The big picture: Big climate ideas include setting "technology-neutral" standards to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035, and a goal of achieving net-zero emissions in all new buildings by 2030.

Carbon180 brings on The Coefficient Group for new carbon removal lobbying

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The nonprofit group Carbon180, which advocates for deployment of emerging carbon removal technologies and methods, has brought on The Coefficient Group to lobby, a new filing shows.

Why it matters: Technologies like direct air capture and bioenergy with carbon capture are getting increased attention from policymakers, and the filing signals that the group sees an opening.

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.

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.