On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said he regrets voting for a controversial 1994 crime bill authored by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Why it matters: The bill has become a point of contention in the Democratic primaries, with certain elements of the legislation — such as the "three-strikes" provision — credited with contributing to mass incarceration among communities of color. Sen. Cory Booker is among those who have brought the bill and Biden's voting record to the forefront of the debate, condemning the 1994 legislation as "awful" despite his "love" for the former vice president.

What they're saying: When asked if he's still glad he voted for the bill, Sanders stated, "No, I’m not happy I voted for a terrible bill, but I am happy that I was honest with the people of my state."

  • Sanders says he'd campaigned for the Senate on banning assault weapons — a measure the bill included — and felt he had to vote for the bill to follow through on that promise, despite its other shortfalls.

What to watch: The second round of Democratic debates are this week, with Sanders due on stage Tuesday alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Biden and Booker will have their turns Wednesday alongside Sen. Kamala Harris.

Go deeper: Democrats prepare for debate brawl with Joe Biden

Go deeper

8 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

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