The big picture

The policies that could help fix policing

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

Jun 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy
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 - Politics & Policy
Congress' partisan divide on paid family leave

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

Nov 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy
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 - Politics & Policy
Trump administration to ease rules on companies killing birds

Trump is moving to lock in regulatory changes before President-elect Biden is inaugurated.

21 hours ago - Politics & Policy
Biden's emerging climate orbit

Treasury could become a climate-related job in this administration.

Nov 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

All Policymaking stories

Durbin seeks to replace Feinstein as top Democrat on Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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.

Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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.

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

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.

Nov 23, 2020 - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

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.

Emergency Fed lending programs to expire under Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Caroline Brehman-Pool via Getty

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.

Nov 20, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. lays groundwork for self-driving car standards

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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.

The brewing stimulus battle between the Fed and Treasury

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Congress to go on vacation despite lack of stimulus bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Congress goes on vacation next week, after months spent hardly working on an economic stimulus that almost everyone agrees was needed months ago.

  • This failure was disheartening in May. It was frustrating in August. It was maddening earlier this month.
  • Today it's whatever adjective best describes the compulsion to slam your head against a concrete wall.

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.

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