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Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

"The anxiety that has gripped the market this week appeared to escalate [yesterday] just as President Trump and lawmakers were setting the government up for annual budget deficits that would routinely exceed $1 trillion," AP's Josh Boak and Paul Wiseman report.

Why it matters: "The higher that deficits rise, the more likely it is that interest rates will surge, too, and undercut corporate profits, stock prices, consumer spending and the overall economy."

Data point of the day: 'The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget ... estimates that the government funding deal would cause the 2019 deficit to balloon to $1.2 trillion, with trillion dollar deficits to continue 'indefinitely.'"

How it's playing ... N.Y. Times: "Republicans Learn to Love Deficit Spending They Once Loathed ... Once Deficit Hawks, Republicans Open the Money Spigot."

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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