The telecom industry and policymakers of both parties quickly squelched a Trump administration proposal calling for the federal government to nationalize part of the U.S. wireless network after Axios published a leaked document outlining the idea.

Why it matters: The swift negative response significantly diminishes the chance of the plan — which White House officials actively discussed with others throughout January — getting off the ground. “Some of the commentary is, like, LOL kind of stuff,” said a congressional staffer, of the conversation around the memo. “The way it’s getting sent to me is more of an eye roll."

What they're saying:

  • “It should also trouble us, frankly, that the National Security Council can’t keep track of its own PowerPoints,” said Rep. Greg Walden, an influential Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees telecom issues.
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Right now we’re in the very earliest stages of the conversation, there are absolutely no decisions made on what that would look like, what roll anyone would play in it — simply the need for a secure network."
  • White House officials also spoke anonymously to reporters to downplay the story. However, the National Security Council eventually confirmed to Recode's Tony Romm in a statement that "all options are under consideration" towards a broader goal of secure, nationwide 5G.
  • All five members of the Federal Communications Commission said the plan was a bad idea. Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that nationalizing a 5G network would be a "costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future."
  • They were backed up by the wireless carriers who have already invested heavily in developing 5G networks. “The government should pursue the free market policies that enabled the U.S. wireless industry to win the race to 4G,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, who is the chief executive of the wireless trade group CTIA.

What we're hearing: Administration officials have been floating the idea of federal involvement in a 5G network for weeks in conversations with government agencies and companies.

  • At a meeting with industry representatives in mid-January, administration officials raised the general idea of the government taking some role in a 5G network for reasons related to China and national security, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
  • Discussions included staffers from some major wireless carriers including AT&T and Verizon, equipment makers like Ericsson and others interested in 5G like Google. The concept did not include the level of specificity contained in the memo, but met a chilly reception.
  • The broad idea was also raised in a meeting between former Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt and administration officials, one of the sources said.
  • The version of the memo published by Axios on Sunday was circulated to government agencies as recently as this month.

Yes, but: Some indicated they thought the memo’s broader arguments about America losing ground in the race for competitive networks had a point.

  • "This correctly diagnoses a real problem. There is a worldwide race to lead in [5G] and other nations are poised to win," tweeted FCC Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, adding the proposal's conclusions missed the mark.

Why you'll hear about this again: The strong opposition has raised serious doubts about the proposal's feasibility. But it may come up today at a House hearing on digital infrastructure, as well as at Pai's monthly press conference.

Go deeper

Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding into early December, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Driving the news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10. The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election, though funding did expire briefly before the bill was signed.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 26 mins ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

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