Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Photo: Zach Gibson / Getty Images

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the House Oversight Committee chairman, on Wednesday asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to release all communications and documents relating to allegations by a senior agency official who claimed she was demoted and replaced after raising concerns over expensive spending at the agency.

Why it matters: Gowdy's request comes a day reports said that HUD officials used $31,000 to purchase a dining set for Carson’s office last year. The South Carolina Republican asked Carson to submit receipts of redecorating and furnishing expenses between January and December 2017. He also asked Carson to arrange a briefing with his panel after submitting the documents.

The backdrop: Helen Foster, the high-ranking official, said in a complaint filed to the Office of Special Counsel that she was targeted after flagging the fact that redecorating plans for Carson’s office exceeded the legal spending limit, the Guardian reported Tuesday. She also claimed retaliation for exposing a $10m budget shortfall.

  • Foster was reportedly demoted in July 2017 without warning or explanation and was given a new role in October.

Go deeper

8 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

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