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President Biden boards Air Force One on May 18. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration has pledged to reverse Trump-era policies restricting LGBTQ access to housing, health care and equal treatment in prisons.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates expect action from the Biden administration after Trump quickly worked to undo the majority of protections secured under Obama.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said the agency will reinstate anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. Trump had rolled back those rules, which made it easier for hospitals to deny trans people health coverage.
  • HUD withdrew a Trump-era proposed rule that would have allowed federally funded emergency shelters to exclude trans people and others based on gender identity.
  • The Justice Department argued in an April statement of interest that prison officials violate the Constitution by refusing to house transgender prisoners in facilities that match their gender identity.

What they're saying: "LGBTQ Americans have faced discrimination for too long, and many federal policies had only just begun to offer much-needed protections during the Obama administration," GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Axios in a statement.

What to watch: The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division considers trans students protected under Title IX — another break with the Trump administration.

  • A DOJ spokesperson said the agency “intends to fully enforce our civil rights statutes to protect transgender individuals.”

Go deeper

Education Department probing 5 states over mask mandate bans

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Education Department said Monday that it launched investigations into five GOP-led states that banned mask mandates in schools.

Driving the news: In letters to education chiefs in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, the department's Office for Civil Rights said the bans could discriminate against students with disabilities or underlying medical conditions.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

2 hours ago - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.