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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If Democrats win the Senate, they may test the limits of “budget reconciliation” with a blitz to pass as much as possible with 50 votes, pending a decision on whether to finally abolish the filibuster and its 60-vote requirement.

The big picture: Biden, if he's elected, will front-load his agenda with coronavirus stimulus and attempt several other big-ticket items in his first year, aware that his political capital will start to diminish as soon as he takes office.

  • After a pandemic push that could top $3 trillion, he'll have to decide how to prioritize immigration, climate, taxes, health care, prescription drugs and student loans.
  • Every interest group thinks its legislation should go first. Many will be disappointed.

What we're hearing: With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the Senate is unlikely to consider a relief package this year, Biden may be forced to do a short-term package right away.

  • But some Biden advisers think the White House will only get one shot and want to go as big as possible on the first pass.
  • They're determined to learn from the $787 billion stimulus of 2009, which most economists now think was too small.

Editor's note: This post was corrected to reflect that pandemic relief could top $3 trillion (not $3 billion).

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.