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As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) surges in the polls to a consistent second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden, heightened attention has exposed her to more serious efforts to attack her by other members of the Democratic field.

Driving the news: In recent days, Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized Warren for dodging questions about whether her Medicare for All proposal will raise taxes on middle-class Americans, according to USA Today. Both Buttigieg and Biden oppose abolishing private insurance under Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan, and instead favor a "public option."

  • "You can’t beat Trump by not being straightforward about what it’s going to do,” Biden told a Warren supporter at a campaign event.
  • "I think that if you are proud of your plan and it's the right plan, you should defend it in straightforward terms,” Buttigieg told CNN.
  • For her part, Warren has contended that the question shouldn't be whether taxes will be raised — it should be whether the total health care costs to American families will increase.

According to the AP, Warren has also faced backlash from Sanders supporters after the Working Families Party — a key progressive group that backed Sanders in 2016 — chose to endorse her instead.

  • The Biden campaign has also quietly suggested that Warren has purposely declined to release tax returns from her years doing corporate legal work as a Republican because "she doesn’t want scrutiny on her sources of income in the years before she established herself as a consumer champion," per the AP.

Between the lines: Warren's increased stardom could take pressure off Biden, who — especially on the debate stage — has been the target of candidates looking for their breakout moments.

Go deeper: The Democrats' 3-way, 70-something race

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U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.