All Policymaking stories

Democratic panel to float climate plan ahead of November election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

House Democrats' climate change committee is slated to unveil a detailed, wide-ranging set of proposals Tuesday at an event featuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Why it matters: It's a preview of policies Democrats could try to advance if they control the White House and Senate after the 2020 election, which could open a political window to move climate legislation.

The cities that are already defunding the police

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"Defund the police" became a rallying cry for many people on the left almost overnight — but it's also having a real impact as cities move quickly to slash their police department budgets.

Driving the news: In the aftermath of the protests over the killing of George Floyd, city leaders are calling to cut law enforcement budgets or reallocate funds in at least 19 U.S. cities, according to Local Progress, which pushes for racial and economic justice and is tracking the issue in real-time.

Texas Gov. Abbott orders all bars to close due to coronavirus surge

Restaurant in Austin, Texas. Photo: Dave Creaney/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order Friday for all bars to close by 12 p.m. today and that restaurants must decrease their capacity from 75% to 50% due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: Abbott's orders could signal a beginning of second wave re-closures by states.

Cities put major construction projects on hold as coronavirus budget crunch looms

Construction workers wearing masks work on a road in New York City in May. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Major infrastructure projects have been put on ice, economic development programs are getting the ax, and workers are losing their jobs.

Why it matters: These are the realities for localities dealing with multimillion-dollar budget holes while also continuing to pour money into COVID-19 response as cases spike.

Zoning adjustments could help cities rebound from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cities should ease rigid permitting and zoning rules to help businesses and residents recover during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a trio of policy briefs out today by researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Why it matters: They are among the dullest City Hall tasks, but these decisions determine significant outcomes such as where housing can be built and whether restaurants are allowed to open in a particular neighborhood.

Senate confirms Trump's 200th federal judge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday voted 52-48 to confirm Cory Wilson, a conservative state court judge in Mississippi, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.

Why it matters: Under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the GOP-led chamber has confirmed 200 of President Trump's appointments to the federal judiciary.

Senate GOP police reform bill stalls after failing to gain Democratic support

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) with Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Republicans' police reform bill failed to gain enough votes to advance the measure in a procedural vote Wednesday.

Why it matters: It highlights the extent of their split with Democrats, who have blasted the GOP bill as "not salvageable" for failing to properly address what they believe are fundamental issues, like the banning of police chokeholds.

Whistleblower: Barr directed faulty antitrust reviews of marijuana mergers

Photo: Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

A career Justice Department official named John Elias today will testify that Attorney General William Barr directed improper antitrust reviews of marijuana industry mergers, because of his personal animus toward cannabis.

Why it matters: This isn't the first time that President Trump's DOJ has been accused of letting bias drive antitrust decisions. But it's the first time that a DOJ attorney is the one making the allegations, and it could have consequences for antitrust investigations into other industries.

Rhode Island to remove "plantations" from state documents and symbols

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo. Photo: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) issued an executive order Tuesday to eliminate the word "plantations" from state documents, symbols and related government websites.

Why it matters: The state seal includes a golden anchor along with the word "hope" and the phrase "the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." Rhode Island was one of the original 13 colonies, with Providence Plantations founded in 1636.

Senate Democrats call GOP police reform bill "not salvageable"

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday stating that Senate Republicans' police reform bill is "not salvageable."

Why it matters: The bill comes amid a national reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism spurred by the killing of George Floyd, but Capitol Hill's gridlock over the best path forward might torpedo any real legislative action on the issue at the moment.