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Photo: Michael Reynolds/Getty Images

President Trump intends to tap deputy FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor as the agency's permanent director, 2 sources familiar with Trump's decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: The administration has been operating without a confirmed FEMA chief during an active hurricane season after the nomination of Jeffrey Byard stalled in the Senate.

The state of play: Byard's nomination had not been withdrawn as of Wednesday evening, per one administration official.

  • But Trump has already made a decision to move forward with Gaynor, according to sources both inside and outside of the administration.
  • Gaynor has served as the agency's acting administrator while Byard's nomination stalled in the Senate. The president was impressed with the way Gaynor handled Hurricane Dorian.

The backstory: Trump nominated Byard — the associate administrator for FEMA's Office of Response and Recovery — to lead the agency in February after former FEMA administrator Brock Long resigned amid an investigation into his personal use of government vehicles.

  • Byard's nomination went through the Senate Homeland Security Committee (HSGAC) in June, but issues regarding a personal conflict later arose and have continued to hold up his nomination.
  • Politico first reported that the White House was considering pulling Byard's nomination.

Worth noting: The nature of Byard's "personal issue," as several sources familiar describe it, is still unclear. Only a select few people — including Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson and a small circle of administration officials — actually know.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.