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Mitch McConnell, Steven Mnuchin and Chuck Schumer. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A procedural vote on Senate Republicans' $1.8 trillion Phase 3 stimulus package failed on Monday for the second time in less than 24 hours.

The big picture: Patience is wearing thin on Capitol Hill as talks over providing desperately needed aid to Americans and businesses continue to stall.

  • Republican senators, many of whom have been more frustrated in the last 24 hours than I've ever seen them, are accusing Democrats of playing politics during a national crisis.
  • Meanwhile, Democrats continue to argue that the Senate GOP's legislation is a corporate slush fund that doesn't do enough to help American workers. This has driven House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to draft her own version of a Phase 3 bill.
  • Today's motion to proceed with the bill failed entirely along party lines, with the exception of Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who voted with Republicans in favor of the motion to proceed with a vote on the package.

What they're saying:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I’d like to see Senate Democrats tell small business employees in their states who are literally being laid off every day that they’re filibustering relief that will keep people on the payroll because Democrats’ special interest friends want to squeeze employers while they’re vulnerable."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "The bottom line is very simple. We are fighting for a better bill because this bill will have an effect for a very long time."
  • Pelosi: “The Senate Republicans’ bill, as presented, put corporations first, not workers and families. Today, House Democrats will unveil a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages and well-being of America’s workers: the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act." (Details)

What's next: Democrats are prepared to continue blocking the Senate Republicans' bill until they get more concessions. Negotiations will continue until both parties, as well as the White House, can strike a deal that delivers the necessary 60 votes to move to a final vote.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Biden administration raises minimum wage for federal employees to $15

A poster demanding a federal $15-per-hour minimum wage seen near the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 26, 2021. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal agencies are being directed to raise the minimum wages for government employees to $15 an hour, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: The guidance will impact almost 70,000 federal employees, most of which work at the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Veterans Affairs. OMP is directing agencies to implement the new wage by Jan. 30.

23 mins ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron’s blitz around the globe has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.