Industrial hemp Photo: Arifoto UG/picture alliance via Getty Images

A provision in the massive farm bill approved by the Senate Wednesday, which is expected to be signed into law by President Trump, would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp — removing the plant near-identical to marijuana from the list of controlled substances and give growers access to crop insurance.

Why it matters: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who played a key role to decriminalize the potentially lucrative cash crop, said it would give farmers who are hurting from the loss of tobacco a significant boost. The measure is expected to allow the usage of hemp to produce products for use in construction, health care and manufacturing. For decades, growing hemp without a federal permit was illegal due to its ties to marijuana — even though it has an insignificant amount of psychoactive compound that gets marijuana users high.

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36 mins 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 1 hour 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.