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Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Photo: John Hicks / Getty

A former top aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and former chief counsel for Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) are launching a lobbying firm and their first big task is taking on the "backpage" anti-sex trafficking bill.

Why it matters: Izzy Klein, a top communications aide for Schumer, and Matt Johnson, Cornyn's former chief counsel, have worked on both sides of Capitol Hill across 12 committees and the Senate and House Leadership. This type of bipartisan collaboration could help in their work to push the "backpage" bill, which has bipartisan support, through the Senate.

“Both of our experience on the Hill and in the private sector has brought us in front of major tech companies whose stories need to be told on Capitol Hill," Klein said. The tech angle: The Klein/Johnson Group is working with Oracle, a major tech corporation in California, to support the passage of the "backpage," which has hit a nerve in Silicon Valley. Oracle will also use the firm to extend section 702 of the FISA bill before year's end. Google has resisted both measures.

Background on the bill, from Axios' David McCabe: The bill wants to hold online platforms like Google and Facebook liable for illegal ads that have led to sex-trafficking. Internet companies aren't fully supportive of the bill, they say, because they couldn't have grown to their current size if they were responsible for all of the content they host — including on the "back" pages. But, McCabe notes, "by opposing the measure, they're being painted as not doing enough to help the victims of sex-trafficking."

What's next: The group currently has six clients and is starting with a tech-heavy portfolio, but their lobbying work in 2018 will focus on everything from tax reform to infrastructure.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

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Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.