Burnout, money, concern drive Harris turnover

Burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a "Harris person" is driving some of the turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris's office, people familiar with the situation tell Axios. Why it matters: Harris is not only a heartbeat from the presidency but, by virtue of her office, the...
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Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states

Hawaii became on Thursday the fifth state to confirm the newly discovered Omicron variant after New York announced five new cases earlier in the day. The latest: In Hawaii, the variant was found in an unvaccinated O'ahu resident with moderate symptoms who had previously been infected with COVID-19, per a state health department statement. The variant has also been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.
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McConnell: No legislative agenda for 2022 midterms

Mitch McConnell has told colleagues and donors Senate Republicans won't release a legislative agenda before next year's midterms, according to people who've attended private meetings with the minority leader. Why it matters: Every midterm cycle, there are Republican donors and operatives who argue the party should release a positive, pro-active...

REPORT: ‘It’s Going To Set Women Back’: Dems Worry Dysfunction In Harris’ Office Will Hurt Other Female Candidates

Departures from Vice President Kamala Harris’ office have Democratic operatives worried about Harris’ impact on future female candidates and the potential harm associated with her could cause, according to a report from Axios. Harris’ chief spokesperson Symone Sanders announced she would be leaving her position by the end of the...
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VP staffers fear being stuck with ‘Harris person’ stigma: report

A new report suggests staffers in Vice President Kamala Harris’ office are considering jumping ship out of fear of being labeled a “Harris person” when they apply for future gigs. The Axios report comes as four top Harris advisers — communications director Ashley Etienne, chief spokeswoman Symone Sanders, director of...

Trump’s "Remain in Mexico" policy is back

The Biden administration has reached a deal with Mexico to restart the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocol at the border. Starting Monday, asylum seekers will once again have to wait outside the U.S. while their claims are processed. Plus, Mike Allen wraps up...

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees. Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.

Biden outlines plan for fighting Omicron COVID-19 variant this winter

President Biden delivered remarks on the U.S. response to the Omicron COVID-19 variant on Thursday. Plus, the House passed a stopgap measure that will fund federal agencies into mid-February — but the bill’s fate is less clear in the Senate. CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O'Keefe, Axios congressional correspondent Alayna Treene and Washington Examiner senior correspondent David Drucker join CBSN's "Red & Blue" anchor Elaine Quijano with more.

Senate Dems receive max donations from Nord Stream 2 lobbyist

A major Democratic donor and Nord Stream 2 lobbyist has made maximum campaign contributions this year to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and vulnerable Senate Democrats, campaign finance records show. Why it matters: If pressure from the White House to vote against reimposing sanctions on the Russia-backed natural gas pipeline...

Des Moines home construction dipped dramatically in 2020

Home development dipped by nearly 50% in Des Moines last year as compared to 2019, city permit records obtained by Axios show.Permits issued through November of this year are ahead of 2020 numbers, but still well below the 2019 level.Why it matters: Some developers are questioning whether a zoning overhaul approved by the city in late 2019 is to blame.What they're saying: Dan Knoup, executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Des Moines (HBA), told Axios that the 2019 zoning changes are too restrictive.He predicts that new building requirements approved last month that are intended to reduce flooding will...

Minnesota college students voted in big numbers in 2020, report finds

Data: LeadMN/U.S. Census; Chart: Jacque Schrag/AxiosPandemic-related barriers didn't keep Minnesota college students from voting in droves in 2020, a report released Thursday shows.Driving the news: Voting was up across all types of Minnesota higher education institutions, including private universities and two-year colleges, according to a new State of Student Voting report from the student organization LeadMN.The projected turnout rate of 70% beats the national average for college students and eligible voters in general, as the chart above shows.Zoom out: It wasn't just college students casting ballots. Overall youth turnout here jumped 8 percentage points, to 57%, according to researchers...

Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state

Some states are much more likely to catch cases of the Omicron variant early on — including California and Minnesota, which did, in fact, find the first two confirmed U.S. cases. The big picture: Omicron has thrust the U.S.'s genetic surveillance capabilities back into the spotlight. And the more cases...

Florida state dessert poll: Key lime takes the cake

The results are in.State of pie: Despite the ongoing efforts of Rep. Lawrence McClure (R-Dover) and Sen. Danny Burgess (R- Zephyrhills) to make strawberry shortcake Florida's official state dessert, our reader poll showed an overwhelming preference for our current sugary state symbol.77% of the 516 readers who responded picked Key lime pie over strawberry shortcake.Note: McClure and Burgess, who didn't respond to Axios' request for comment, aren't trying to remove Key lime as the state pie. They just want strawberry shortcake to get a seat at the table as the official state dessert.Still, while many of you appreciate the effort...

Hedging against extreme weather events

Your home or business insurance could soon come with innovative options for extreme weather thanks in part to platforms developed by climate risk management companies like The Demex Group. Driving the news: The company uses a combination of meteorological know-how, risk analysis, software development and relationships with insurers to help...

Payment for order flow isn't so bad, analysis finds

Is payment for order flow (PFOF) bad for investors? Absolutely not, according to a new paper from S.P. Kothari and Eric So of MIT. What's new: PFOF is back in the news, now that Public has come out with data showing that the alternative — trading directly on exchanges — can result in significantly better execution quality.

Polk County releases Merle Hay Mall collateral

Polk County supervisors have released a lien against some of the property used as collateral to guarantee $3.9 million in taxpayer loans made to Merle Hay Mall in recent years.Why it matters: The mall says the financial move is necessary to move forward with its plans to build a new $2.8 million Kohl's store at the site of the now-demolished Sears.Taxpayer money is at greater risk for losses if the mall were to go bankrupt or out-of-business and liquidate.Of note: The mall is current on all payments and is still required to repay the loans.Driving the news: Bankers Trust would...

McConnell: No interest in crafting an agenda ahead of 2022 midterms

Ahead of the 1994 midterm elections, House Republicans, led by future Speaker Newt Gingrich, presented voters with the "Contract with America." For the first time in nearly a half-century, the GOP claimed a House majority soon after. It wasn't long before many observers made the case that one development caused...

OPEC in the age of Omicron

The OPEC+ decision to forge ahead with output hikes next month can't be untethered from U.S. politics or uncertainty about the Omicron variant. Catch up fast: OPEC, Russia and allied producers met virtually Thursday and stuck with plans to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day in January. But in...

The everything shipper

Amazon is inching closer to being able to send you everything, from any store. Driving the news: The company’s CEO of worldwide consumer business, Dave Clark, told CNBC this week that Amazon will “probably be the largest package delivery carrier in the U.S.” by early 2022 if not the end of this year.