All of the former directors of the Congressional Budget Office have teamed up to defend their colleagues' work — and demand that Republicans stop attacking the budget office's estimate of the Senate health care bill. The letter to the top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders expresses "our strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency's role in the legislative process."

The bottom line: They say the non-partisan office produces "estimates that are more accurate, on average, than estimates or guesses by people who are not objective and not as well informed as CBO's analysts."

Why it matters: Republicans have been criticizing CBO's assumptions and accusing the budget office of inflating its estimates of the health care bill's impact, especially on how many people would lose coverage. But the main attacks lately have been coming from the White House, including a Washington Post op-ed by two White House officials who called CBO's estimates "fake news."

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1 hour ago - World

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 2 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.