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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (in front on right side) stands with other Republicans. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

The negotiations this month over Republicans' tax reform were entirely amongst themselves, the New York Times reports. When Democrats laid out "strict conditions for working with them" last summer, Republicans left behind the idea of a bipartisan bill, per the Times.

Why it matters: Republican leadership has been working tirelessly to get this bill passed, especially after their loss with health care earlier this year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saw the tax plan "as the key to appeasing furious Republican voters," per NYT.

Key moments in pulling together Republican support:

  • Accepting a budget "that allowed for much higher deficits." Sen. Bob Corker negotiated with Sen. Patrick Toomey to get Toomey's proposed $2.5 trillion limit down to $1.5 trillion, the Times reports. Corker reportedly thought it "was the best deal he could get."
  • President Trump's negotiations with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to prevent a government shutdown, which avoided "a protracted fight in both chambers."
  • Getting Sen. John McCain on their side, which was a big win after his famous thumbs-down on health care earlier this year. McConnell said McCain was "getting urged by everybody center-left ... to do it to us one more time."

Go deeper

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

7 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.