Dec 3, 2017

Inside the Mitch McConnell playbook

Photo: Timothy D. Easley / AP

After taking a hit for the loss on health reform, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) restored his reputation as a skilled tactician with the passage of a tax package that few thought would make it out of the Senate before year's end.

McConnell-watchers deconstruct his secret sauce:

  • "Fear, electoral anxiety and anger burn off through the open amendment process. His patience and discipline allowed him to move past the political posturing into positioning on issues. He is the modern day political alchemist — making the chaos into policy gold."
  • "Classic McConnell: tight team, member-by-member lobbying, deploying every possible outside influencer, and — this part is easily overlooked — drawing on a huge reservoir of trust and loyalty from many (though not all, of course) members in his caucus."
  • "He prepared all year for Friday's vote by delegating surrogates, unifying House, Senate and [White House] teams, and learning from the failures of O'Care repeal. He also never let the daily distractions and frustrations of the WH interfere."
  • "McCain, who complained about the lack of regular order in the Obamacare repeal debate, voted with us after a lengthy process [that still landed zero Dems]. ... McConnell brought in small groups of members ... several days a week, several meetings — to update them."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 859,556 — Total deaths: 42,332 — Total recoveries: 178,300.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 189,510 — Total deaths: 4,076 — Total recoveries: 7,109.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 4,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 4,000 people in the U.S. — with over 1,000 deaths reported in New York City alone, per Johns Hopkins data. The number of deaths are still much lower than those reported in Italy, Spain and China.

Of note: Hours earlier, President Trump noted it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the novel coronavirus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place. "They are going to be facing a war zone," he said of medical workers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 47 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 858,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health