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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The FBI Agents Association released a statement on Tuesday urging Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime, arguing that it would that would ensure that FBI agents and prosecutors have the "best tools" to fight it.

Driving the news: Two mass shootings perpetrated over the weekend by American citizens left 31 dead, bringing the issue of domestic terrorism back into the national conversation. The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas says he will be treating the shooting at an El Paso Walmart as a domestic terrorism case. However, because there is currently no clear federal domestic terrorism statute, the Justice Department cannot prosecute the case under the same terrorism laws applied to foreign nationals.

What they're saying:

"Domestic terrorism is a threat to the American people and our democracy. Acts of violence intended to intimidate civilian populations or to influence or affect government policy should be prosecuted as domestic terrorism regardless of the ideology behind them. FBIAA continues to urge Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime. This would ensure that FBI Agents and prosecutors have the best tools to fight domestic terrorism.”

But, but, but: Congress is currently on August recess, stalling their ability to act immediately on legislation. Democrats and some Republicans have been calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to cancel recess to address the mass shootings through measures like background checks.

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

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The vaccine race turns toward nationalism

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening, both in the U.S. and abroad, with cases, hospitalizations and deaths all rising.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.