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Mnuchin. Photo: Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) sharply criticized stimulus negotiations between House Democrats and the Trump administration on Tuesday, dismissing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as "two big government Democrats."

Why it matters: Sasse is one of a number of Senate Republicans who have expressed frustration with key provisions in the White House-backed bill released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday — underscoring how far Congress is from striking a deal on a coronavirus relief package.

What he's saying: "The swamp should stop pretending there’s some thoughtful negotiation happening here," Sasse said in a statement.

  • "We have two big government Democrats — Secretary Mnuchin on behalf of the Trump administration and Speaker Pelosi on behalf of binge-spending politicians everywhere —  playing gross games with your kids’ money."
  • "The White House is trying to solve bad polling by agreeing to indefensibly bad debt. This proposal is not targeted to fix precise problems — it’s about Democrats and Trumpers competing to outspend each other."

Go deeper: Senate Republicans criticize their own stimulus bill

Go deeper

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wins re-election

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has won re-election, AP projects.

Why it matters: McConnell's Democratic challenger Amy McGrath raised more than $88 million during the campaign, despite her long odds of unseating the Republican leader.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 8 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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