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Kushner pushes prison reform with Senate majority whip

Jared Kushner looks out of the corner of his eye with a smile
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty

Jared Kushner met with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn today to talk about how to move forward on the White House's prison reform priorities, a Cornyn spokeswoman confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. John Cornyn has introduced a prison reform bill, which focuses on re-entry programs and excludes the more controversial sentencing reform aspects of Sen. Chuck Grassley's popular, bipartisan criminal justice reform bill. Cornyn has backed Grassley's bill in the past, but refused to vote for it in committee last month.

Go deeper: The issue is personal for Kushner, given the former imprisonment of his father.

Erica Pandey 6 hours ago
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How China became a powerhouse of espionage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

As China’s influence spreads to every corner of the globe under President Xi Jinping, so do its spies.

Why it matters: China has the money and the ambition to build a vast foreign intelligence network, including inside the United States. Meanwhile, American intelligence-gathering on China is falling short, Chris Johnson, a former senior China analyst for the CIA who's now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells Axios: "We have to at least live up to [China's] expectations. And we aren't doing that."

Caitlin Owens 6 hours ago
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Congress doesn't love the spending bill, but it passed anyway

Congressional leaders
Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Photo: Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

House Speaker Paul Ryan touted the defense spending increase, Sen. Rand Paul angrily tweeted about arcane government spending, and Democrats shook their head at the lack of gun control measures. But most members of Congress accepted the omnibus spending bill for what it is: A giant collection of what has to get done to keep the government functioning, while mustering enough votes to pass.

Why it matters: This is a $1.3 trillion dollar bill affecting every branch of government that passed mostly because it had to. Members voted on it without really reading it, as it was released Wednesday night and passed the Senate shortly after midnight Friday.