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Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Senate voted down a measure on Wednesday that would allocate $250 million worth of election security funding.

The big picture: The failed vote comes a day after Facebook announced it had discovered a political disinformation campaign ahead of the mid-term elections. Some Democrats are concerned states do not have the resources to properly secure their election systems from potential threats.

The funding push, led by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, is even smaller than the House-side proposal of $380 million that failed to make it past the House in July.

What's they're saying on why funding measures have not passed:

  • Republicans have said additional funds need to be authorized by Congress before being doled out.
  • They've also indicated they're not interested in designating more funding until all the states use the funds they currently have from the $380 million omnibus provisions.
  • Sen. Blunt said that states are responsible for running their elections, not the federal government, and that providing more funds would give the impression of federal overreach.
  • Sen. Lankford said on the floor Wednesday, referencing the omnibus funds, “the $380 million amount is what was needed for the moment," and indicated he didn't want to fund states beyond that right now.

The other side:

  • Democrats say the funding Congress allocated this year is not enough to update just electronic voting machines, and the 10,000 election jurisdictions in the U.S. aren’t typically resourced annually to upgrade systems without aid.
  • All 55 states and territories that are eligible have requested the funds so far, but some have run into local hurdles, including business procurement processes and slow local legislative approval. Results may not be visible for months.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.