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Biden and Harris meet on-stage on July 31, 2019. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden greeted Sen. Kamala Harris on the debate stage Wednesday with a request: "Go easy on me, kid."

For the record: 5 senior campaign officials told Axios' Alexi McCammond that Biden was "ready to throw down" on Wednesday, after Harris' took control at the first Democratic debates in Miami. Harris and Biden went head-to-head tonight on these issues:

Medicare for all

Catch up quick: Harris' health care plan would preserve private insurance and cost an estimated $32 trillion per decade, paid "with a tax on financial services." Biden's would preserve the most liked parts of the Affordable Care Act and would cost $750 billion over a decade, per the campaign.

  • "They're probably confused cause they've not read it," Harris quipped, after CNN reminded her about Biden's comments on her health care plan. She characterized Biden's plan as upholding the status quo.
  • "You can't beat President Trump with double talk on this plan," Biden retorted — causing Harris to state that he was "simply inaccurate."
Race

Catch up quick: Harris said Biden had falsely portrayed his position on busing to desegregate schools as similar to her own, and that Biden had "failed to acknowledge" his previous position. Biden accused Harris of failing to desegregate schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco when she was attorney general, and said she "had a police department ... that was abusing people's rights."

  • Harris: She said if the segregationists Biden had worked with in the Senate had their way, neither she or Cory Booker would be members of Senate, "and Barack Obama would not have been in a position to nominate" Biden for the vice presidency.
  • Biden: "I didn't see a single solitary time she brought a case against them to desegregate them," he said, referring to segregated schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Women's rights and reproductive care

Catch up quick: Harris joined forces with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's pointed attack over Biden's history on women's rights, pivoting the conversation to his flipped support for the Hyde Amendment. Biden fended off Gillibrand's broadside, saying he's always believed in equal rights for women. In responding to Harris, he maintained that he supports "a woman's right to choose" to end a pregnancy.

  • Harris: "Why did it take you so long to change your position on the Hyde Amendment? Why did it take so long, until you were running for president, to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?"
  • Biden: "Because there was not full federal funding for all reproductive services prior to this point," he responded.

Go deeper:

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.