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A worker at the Corning plant that makes glass for Apple iPhones. Photo: Apple

Apple said Tuesday it is awarding key supplier Corning with $250 million from the company's $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, designed to invest in U.S.-based companies that make parts for the company.

Why it matters: The move aims to help Corning with the massive R&D expense of coming up with ever stronger glass to go on the outside of the iPhone, Apple Watch and other products. The latest deal comes on top of $200 million Apple put into Corning in 2017.

What they're not saying: Apple isn't saying exactly how the deal is structured, but it is part of a much broader relationship in which Apple and Corning work together on glass and billions of dollars change hands.

The bottom line: People talk about making iPhones in the U.S., but that's unlikely to happen. There are real iPhone manufacturing jobs in the U.S., but they are at suppliers like Corning.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.