Senate Republicans will soon have to approve two new members of the Federal Communications Commission — one Republican and one Democrat — and likely re-confirm the body's new chair to a second term. All of that may happen at once, Senate Commerce Committee chair John Thune told Axios in a Monday night conversation:

"I think you'd have to fill it out. I think that when this happens, in order to have a Republican majority over there, we'd probably have to get that other seat filled too. So I suspect if it's a package deal it'll probably be sort of three in the package."

What this means: This is a question of timing. New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai needs to be confirmed to a second term this year in order to stay in the job, but Republicans won't imperil the FCC majority by moving his re-nomination along with a Democrat. They will wait for a second Republican nominee and move all three as a group if they are going to address the nominations as a package.

The bigger picture: The Republican majority at the FCC is crucial to conservative plans to roll back the legacy of aggressive Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler.

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Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 33,454,037 — Total deaths: 1,003,571 — Total recoveries: 23,204,219Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 7,165,067 — Total deaths: 205,476 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.

NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

New York City's coronavirus positivity rate has ticked up to 3.25%, its highest since June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The jump — from 1.93% on Monday — came on the first day that public elementary classrooms reopened in the city after months of closures, but guidelines state that all public schools will have to shut if the citywide seven-day positivity rate stays above 3%.