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

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Chuck Kennedy

Mike Allen closed out 2017 with back-to-back News Shapers events in DC. Today's featured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Mark Warner. They discussed Russian election interference, tax reform, what's next, and what's not.

Why it mattered: Now that the Republicans' sweeping tax bill has passed both chambers of Congress, President Trump is expected to sign it into law on Jan. 3. Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation continues at full force.

Mike thanks guests for coming to Axios' 31st and final event of the year.Chuck Kennedy
Sen. Warner tells Mike that the tax bill "is probably the single most disappointing piece of legislation" he's seen during his time in the Senate.Chuck Kennedy
"The tone and tenor of the comments coming out of the president's allies both elected and otherwise should send a chill through all of us," Sen. Warner says, referring to efforts to undermine Mr. Mueller's investigation. Chuck Kennedy
140 guests getting in one last Axios event before the holidays.Chuck Kennedy
Leader McConnell doesn't dispute that there may need to be a fix to the tax bill. Chuck Kennedy
Leader McConnell tells Mike that welfare and entitlement reform are not expected to be on the 2018 agenda.Chuck Kennedy
On the president's negative tweets about him over the summer: ""They weren't my favorite, no. But he's gotten better. [...] We're doing just fine."Chuck Kennedy
Mike in the holiday spirit. Chuck Kennedy

See you in 2018!

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

4 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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