All Policymaking stories

Pentagon will require all troops to get COVID vaccine by Sept. 15

Photo: Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

The Pentagon will require members of the military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo on Monday.

Why it matters: About 64% of active duty military members are fully vaccinated, a low enough rate to pose concern for potential outbreaks and international deployments, reports the New York Times.

Aug 8, 2021 - World

Senator asks Pentagon to help Greece fight wildfires

A local resident gestures as he holds an empty water hose during an attempt to extinguish forest fires approaching the village of Pefki on Evia (Euboea) island on Aug. 8. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) penned a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging the Pentagon to provide additional support to Greece as the country battles devastating wildfires.

State of play: Dozens of wildfires broke out in Greece last week after the country suffered its worst heatwave in decades. They have continued to rage unabated and forced hundreds to evacuate.

2020 census has unusually high rate of unanswered questions

A tablet with a Census 2020 interview questionnaire on the screen. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An unusually high rate of questions on the 2020 census went unanswered, according to documents released by the Census Bureau, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Many of the unanswered questions had to do with demographics, the answers to which help governments redraw congressional and state legislative districts, according to a Census Bureau press release.

Senate clears key hurdle on infrastructure bill

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Saturday gave a final push for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package as the Senate reconvened to advance the measure.

Driving the news: The Senate on Saturday broke the filibuster, clearing the 60-vote threshold to advance the plan for final passage, after which it will head to the House. It is not clear when the final Senate vote will take place.

Arkansas judge blocks statewide ban on mask mandates

Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Photo: Liz Sanders/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Arkansas judge on Friday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its ban on mask mandates, AP reports.

Driving the news: Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction against a law signed in April by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson that banned governmental entities from implementing mask mandates.

White House emphasizes clean bus provisions in bipartisan infrastructure plan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The White House is using a multimedia public sales pitch and press strategy to promote a dual message: The bipartisan infrastructure plan has really good stuff for the climate — but it can’t be anywhere close to the final word from Congress.

Details: The administration has sent out a blitz of fact sheets and favorable press clippings to reporters.

Biden signs bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals to officers who responded to Jan. 6 attack

President Biden, joined by Vice President Harris, lawmakers and members of law enforcement and their families, signs legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement in the Rose Garden. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Biden signed legislation awarding Congressional Gold Medals to the law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress' "highest expression of national appreciation," notes the New York Times.

FAA urges airports to help with unruly passengers, end to-go alcohol

Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday urged airports to discourage the sale of "to-go" alcohol and help put an end to the rise of assaults on flight attendants.

Why it matters: The FAA has received 3,715 reports of rowdy passengers so far in 2021, with more than 70% of incidents related to the mask requirement on flights.

DOJ investigating city of Phoenix and Phoenix police department

Phoenix Police confront demonstrators in 2017. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced in a press conference Thursday it is opening a "pattern or practice" investigation into the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.

Driving the news: The Justice Department's probe comes after the Biden administration reversed a Trump policy of not investigating police departments. It looks into several possible violations exhibited by the city's police department:

Texas Gov. Abbott announces special legislative session to push voting restrictions

Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced a special legislative session for this weekend after Texas Democrats fled the state to prevent Republicans from passing new voting restrictions.

Why it matters: Democrats who fled the state last month will have to decide whether to stay out of the state for another month or return and risk arrest when they return.