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Photo: Axios screenshot

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said during an Axios virtual event that the Federal Reserve Board needs to be able to give loans in rural and minority communities, which have been some of the most affected during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: People in rural and minority communities have been disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus.

What he's saying: "[W]e need to give the Fed more explicit authority to relook at how they have lending, and make sure that lending isn't concentrated just to financial institutions and large corporations, that they're using their regional banks to be regional economic development banks considering rural and minority communities," Khanna said.

  • "We need to infuse [the Small Business Administration] with loans. I would do $10 trillion over 10 years to have 200,000 more loans to small businesses across America," he continued.
  • "[T]hose loans should be targeted ... to minority communities through minority development institutions. Most of the minority development lending, as you know, was Asian-American. And so, even black and brown communities have been excluded from minority development institutes. So we have to make that more inclusive. I would target it to rural communities which have had a shrinking of community banks."
  • "I really think the concentration of capital is part of what has left communities behind. And this is something that rural communities have in common with minority urban areas."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 14, 2021 - Economy & Business

Rep. Ro Khanna calls on the Fed to reexamine its policies

Photo: Axios screenshot

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) laid out a few specific policies he and some of Congress' other leading progressives are likely to demand when the next U.S. Congress begins its term.

The big picture: Khanna wants Congress to deliver more direct aid to Americans in the form of $2,000 monthly checks and to provide $1 trillion over 10 years in loans and grants to small businesses but is also taking aim at the Fed, arguing that the central bank has gone astray of its original intent to help small businesses and community banks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."