Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers emerge as troublemakers

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Axios spoke with a number of congressional sources about whom they find to be the most unpredictable and headache-inducing. Here's what they said:


  • Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia): The freshman has promoted a series of QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theories rivaling former Rep. Steve King's talk of white supremacy.
  • Matt Gaetz (Florida): Actively campaigning against GOP Caucus chair Liz Cheney, and unafraid of undermining House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
  • Thomas Massie (Kentucky): He made a lot of enemies by repeatedly objecting to coronavirus relief legislation and forcing members to travel back to Washington amid the pandemic to deal with his dissension.
  • Louie Gohmert (Texas):He doesn't have much influence, but his antics, such as calling for street violence after his lawsuit against former Vice President Mike Pence was dismissed, have generated heartburn for leadership.
  • Mo Brooks (Alabama): True troublemaker. Led the push to oppose certifying President Biden's victory.


  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and the other members of “The Squad”: Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts): They have broken with leadership on crucial votes in their collective effort to shift the Democratic Party leftward.
  • Jamaal Bowman (New York): "The Squad" bolstered its standing by expanding its team with freshmen who had replaced veteran lawmakers. Bowman joined the others in voting against a waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as Defense secretary.
  • Cori Bush (Missouri): She pushed back against the highest-profile Democrat, former President Barack Obama, after he dismissed "defund-the-police" as a slogan.

Be smart: “The Squad” is an obvious target considering their history in the Democratic caucus, but some members of the cohort with military and intelligence backgrounds also have shown they’ll buck leadership.

  • Jared Golden (Maine): He is one of two Democrats who voted against re-electing House Speaker Pelosi this month. He said it was time for new leaders “if leadership has not been delivering the results that you think are critical to the future of the country.”
  • Conor Lamb (Pennsylvania):He joined Golden in voting against Pelosi for speaker for the second time since she reclaimed the position in 2019.

What they're saying: “As the speaker frequently says, ‘Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,'" Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hamill told Axios. "This rudimentary media exercise is not a way to understand how the House Democratic caucus operates, or how our members will come together to get the job done for the American people."

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories