Andrew Harnik / AP

The issue:

One of President Trump's first executive actions in the Oval Office was to order HUD to suspend its planned 0.25% cut in the insurance fee it charges to participants in the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage program.

The facts:

FHA loans are a popular means for first-time homebuyers to finance their purchases. They allow buyers to put as little as 3.5% down, plus an upfront insurance premium of 1.75%. Thereafter the majority of borrowers are charged an annual fee of 0.85% of their loan, which helps the FHA compensate lenders when loans go bad.

The Obama administration's lowering of the fee would have saved the median homebuyer roughly $500 per year, though that can go higher or lower depending on the value of the home. Back in 2013, the FHA had to be bailed out to the tune of $1.7 billion when it insurance fund was exhausted, for the first time in its 80 year history. That's why fiscal conservatives are wary of lowering the insurance premium.

Why it matters:

$500 per year isn't a massive amount of money, but on the margin can be the deciding factor in whether a borrower can afford a home. It is a hint that the Trump administration will place fiscal responsibility over populist programs to support the working class. It's also a move that will disproportionately hit blue-state borrowers, as places like New York and California are home to expensive real estate markets.

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - World

At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.