Sen. Patrick Leahy questions Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

"A burst of public acrimony across Capitol Hill ... exposed how much negotiations on immigration ... have been set back since President Trump’s use of a vulgar expression," the WashPost reports in its lead story.

Why it matters: A Friday deadline looms "to pass a new spending bill in time to avert a government shutdown."

  • What's being held up: "Aides to top congressional leaders met ... to try to salvage a deal to meet a March deadline to legalize the status of ... 'dreamers,' while also beefing up border security."
  • What's next: "GOP leaders kept pushing ... to pass a short-term, stand-alone spending bill with no immigration reforms included. ... [That] would probably push negotiations on immigration into February, an outcome Democrats hope to avoid."
  • Happening today: "In a sign that the White House is still trying to work with Democrats, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a bloc he has sparred with in the past over immigration policy."

Go deeper

FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Official says White House political appointees "commandeered" Bolton book review

John Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened." Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

A former career official at the National Security Council claims her pre-publication review of former national security adviser John Bolton's explosive book on President Trump was "commandeered by political appointees for a seemingly political purpose," according to a letter from her lawyers filed in court on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The White House fought against the publication of Bolton's book for most of the year on the grounds that it contained harmful and "significant amounts of classified information."

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!