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Mark Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill on Monday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Lawmakers who met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said they found him “personable” and “forthright” but still expect to have plenty of questions for him when he testifies this week.

Why it matters: Tomorrow is a big test for Zuckerberg, who has never appeared before Congress, and for lawmakers, who have never engaged this publicly with the issues plaguing Facebook and other online platforms.

What they’re saying:

  • “I thought he was personable and I get the sense that he gets it,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R). “I think he realizes that they’ve got a lot of explaining to do and I think he’s anxious to take it head on.”
  • Thune said that lawmakers were weighing regulation — noting at one point that Europe is about to implement strict new privacy rules — but indicated they were still gathering information.
  • Thune's Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson, said at a press conference that Zuckerberg had struck him as “forthright.”
  • “But I think particularly the message that I wanted to convey to him [was] that if we don’t rein in the misuse of social media, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore,” Nelson said.

Others were more tight-lipped about their meetings. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R) said the purpose of the meeting was “just to go over the process" with the Facebook CEO.

What’s next: Zuckerberg goes before a joint Senate Commerce and Judiciary hearing on Tuesday afternoon, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday morning.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.