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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is facing condemnation from members of the Republican Party and former supporters after leading an effort to object to the Electoral College certification, which many believe contributed to the violent siege of the Capitol on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Hawley, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, was viewed as one of the fastest-rising stars in the GOP and a potential 2024 presidential candidate. But the 41-year-old senator's future prospects are now at risk after he defied GOP leadership to become the first senator to say he would object to the certification of President-elect Biden's Electoral College win.

Driving the news: Simon & Schuster on Thursday announced it would be cancelling the publication of Hawley's upcoming book, "The Tyranny of Big Tech," saying it "cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat."

  • Hawley responded by calling the move "Orwellian," accusing a "woke mob" at Simon & Schuster of engaging in "a direct assault on the First Amendment."

Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth, who mentored Hawley and called him a "once-in-a-generation" candidate, said Thursday: “I thought he was special. And I did my best to encourage people to support him both for attorney general and later the U.S. Senate and it was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life."

The Kansas City Star, a local Missouri paper, said in an editorial on Wednesday that Hawley has "blood on his hands" and called for his resignation on Friday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also called for Hawley's resignation in an editorial Thursday, writing: "Americans have had enough of Trumpism and the two-faced, lying, populist politicians who embraced it. Hawley’s presidential aspirations have been flushed down the toilet because of his role in instigating Wednesday’s assault on democracy. He should do Missourians and the rest of the country a big favor and resign now."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tore into Hawley on the Senate floor Wednesday, saying that “those who choose to continue to support [Trump's] dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy," per AP.

David Humphreys, a Missouri businessman who helped fund Hawley's first campaign, released a statement calling the senator a "political opportunist" and arguing that he "should be censured by his Senate colleagues for his actions which have undermined a peaceful transition of power and for provoking yesterday’s riots in our nation’s capital."

Shamed Dogan, a Republican state senator in Missouri, tweeted that he regretted voting for Hawley in 2018: "His refusal to accept the legitimacy of Joe Biden's election, even after today's violence, is an embarrassment."

The other side: Hawley said in a statement to the Kansas City Star that he would "never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections. That’s my job, and I will keep doing it."

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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