A cell tower in Missouri. Photo: Jeff Roberson / AP

Members of congressional leadership are urging the Federal Communications Commission not to let the timeline for handing over airwaves from local broadcasters to wireless providers slip in a letter obtained by Axios. They argue it would hurt rural areas where access to high speed internet is scarce.

The bigger picture: Cellular carriers — especially T-Mobile — want to get their hands on the spectrum they bought in a recent auction from local broadcasters as fast as possible. Broadcasters have pushed in the past to slow down the timeline.

The details:

  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who chairs the Republican conference in the House, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise are signed on to the letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. It also includes Democrats like California Rep. Anna Eshoo, formerly the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's tech subcommittee.
  • They want the process of transitioning airwaves used by broadcasters to wireless carriers who bought them in a recent auction — known as the repack — to stay on schedule. The current deadline in July 3, 2020.
  • "By encouraging a rapid, reasonable, and cost-effective transition of the 600 MHz spectrum, the FCC can help ensure that citizens in rural America enjoy the benefits that reliable, high-speed internet connectivity promise," the lawmakers write in the letter, expected to be sent to Pai on Monday morning.

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In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

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A luxe election-night watch party at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue is being planned for President Trump's donors, friends and advisers — but Trump's hand in it is minimal because he's "very superstitious" — people familiar with the plans tell Axios.

The big picture: This "mecca for all things MAGA," as one adviser described it, is one of three hubs where they say Trumpworld will watch returns. The others are the war room at campaign HQ in Rosslyn, Virginia, and the White House residence, where Trump and the first lady will gather close family and advisers before heading to the hotel later that night, the sources said.

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