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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Monday he will seek to become the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she will step down from the position.
The big picture: Durbin has served on the committee for 22 years. He noted Monday he is its most senior member who already isn't serving on the leadership of another panel. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has seniority over Durbin, but chairs the Appropriations Committee.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will not seek a leadership position on the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, regardless of whether Democrats take control of the Senate in upcoming runoff elections, she said Monday.
Why it matters: Feinstein, who at 87 years old is the oldest member of the Senate, has at times drawn backlash from progressives in her party, including for her approach to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.
Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.
What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.
The Treasury Department will not extend several Federal Reserve lending programs set to expire by year's end that were put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why it matters: There is concern that pulling the plug on these loan programs will negatively impact the still-fragile economy. Eliminating the programs could hobble the Fed and make it harder to revive similar assistance under a new Congress.
U.S. auto safety regulators began a regulatory process on Thursday to solicit public input on how to ensure the safety of future self-driving vehicles.
Why it matters: The proposed rulemaking is a step toward the adoption of new safety standards for autonomous vehicles, but it could be years before any rules are final.
A battle over stimulus escalated in Washington on Thursday night: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin put emergency lending programs it set up alongside the Fed chair Jerome Powell on the chopping block.
Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic is worse than when these facilities were established in the spring — and economists worry about a resulting steep economic backslide.
Congress goes on vacation next week, after months spent hardly working on an economic stimulus that almost everyone agrees was needed months ago.
The difference between now and then is that we can see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, thanks to vaccine trial results from Pfizer and Moderna.