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Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

2020 Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders released a new plan Wednesday that would overhaul labor laws in the U.S. to increase union membership and rights.

Why it matters: The Vermont senator is competing for union endorsements against a wide Democratic field. The plan's release is timed with the Iowa state convention for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

For unions, the plan would:

  • Allow employees to organize through a majority sign-up process.
  • Push for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, which allowed 28 states to pass laws preventing employees from negotiating union security clauses into their contracts and financially weakened unions by not legally obligating employees to pay dues.
  • Ban employers from replacing striking workers.

For federal workers, the plan would:

  • Grant the right to strike.
  • Create federal protections against firing employees for any reason other than "just cause."
  • Force merging companies to honor existing union contracts.
  • Use health care savings from union negotiations to pay for Medicare for All.

For federal contractors, the plan would:

  • Grant federal contracts only to companies that protect unions, pay their workers a $15 minimum wage and don't outsource jobs overseas.

Go deeper: Unionized workers still make substantially more money

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - World

U.S. sanctions Russian officials over Navalny poisoning and detention

Pro-Navalny protesters in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: Omer Messinger/Getty Images

The U.S. will sanction 7 senior Russian officials over the poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, senior administration officials told reporters on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The sanctions represent the first penalties the U.S. has imposed on Kremlin-linked officials since President Biden took office and pledged to confront Russian aggression.

Democrats to take up immigration reform next week

Biden in the Oval Office in January. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House will vote on two immigration bills next week, including one to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday on a call with the Democratic caucus.

Why it matters: This is likely the only realistic shot the Biden administration has at this point to pass immigration reform.

Scoop: Biden briefing calls for 20,000 child migrant beds

President Biden, during a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The rapid influx of unaccompanied children is building into the administration's first new crisis. A presentation created by the Domestic Policy Council spells out the dimensions with nearly 40 slides full of charts and details.