Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Wisconsin Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature took a highly unusual step in the lame-duck session Wednesday morning and approved a raft of measures that will strip powers from incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul.

Why it matters: Limiting Evers' authority will make it increasingly difficult for him to implement campaign promises, and it will extend years of fierce ideological skirmishes in the battleground state Republicans have fully controlled for years.

Timing: The last-ditch effort, which outraged Democrats call a blatant "power grab," comes less than a month after Evers and Kaul defeated the state's Republican incumbents.

The backdrop: The move mirrors a similar one made by North Carolina Republicans two years ago, during which they successfully stripped powers of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

  • Michigan's Republican-controlled legislature is also currently considering measures to weaken the powers of incoming Democratic of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

What they're saying: Wisconsin Republicans are defending their efforts as necessary to balance the power of the legislature and the executive branch. Gov. Scott Walker, who now gets a final chance to reshape state government before leaving office in January, signaled to reporters this week that he supports the proposals.

  • Meanwhile, Evers and other Democrats have threatened to take legal action, arguing that Republicans are trying to invalidate election results: "We're not going back in time to re-vote this election. I won and I'm more than willing to work with the legislature going forward," Evers said this week.

Some of the key measures Wisconsin Republicans approved will:

  • Make it difficult for Evers and Kaul to withdraw the state from a Republican lawsuit challenging Obamacare and to exercise oversight or have the power to roll back conservative policies.
  • Allow lawmakers to hire private attorneys to replace Kaul on certain lawsuits, enabling Republicans to better defend conservative laws if challenged in court.
  • Slash early voting to a two-week window before elections, a move that will deprive counties that currently decide when to start. Democratic strongholds like Madison and Milwaukee began early voting six weeks before last month’s midterm contests.
    • This proposal is almost certain to trigger a court challenge because a federal judge struck down a similar proposal as unconstitutional in 2016.
  • Require Evers to get permission from lawmakers to ban guns in the state capital.

One of the most controversial proposals — a plan to move the date of the 2020 presidential primary from April to March — is dead after a committee vote Monday.

  • Why it matters: Local reports said it's an attempt by Republicans to safeguard conservative state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, who will be on the April ballot, out of fear that a Democratic wave could cost Kelly his job.

Go deeper

Biden gets mixed grades on revolving door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.

Exclusive: Sen. Coons sees new era of bipartisanship on China

Sen. Chris Coons. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a "shock to the system," propelling members of Congress toward the goal of shoring up America's ability to compete with China, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told Axios during an interview Thursday.

Why it matters: Competition between China's authoritarian model and the West's liberal democratic one is likely to define the 21st century. A bipartisan response would help the U.S. present a united front.

By the numbers: States weighing voting changes

Data: Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law; Cartogram: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Georgia is not alone in passing a law adding voting restrictions, but other states are seeing a surge in provisions and proposals that would expand access to the polls, according to data from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Driving the news: Just Wednesday, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have been released from prison.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!