Mar 30, 2017

Manchin and Heitkamp become first Senate Dems to back Gorsuch

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Joe Manchin, the moderate West Virginia Democrat, became the first Senate Dem to announce he'll vote in favor of Neil Gorsuch on Thursday. Shortly thereafter, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota followed suit.

The context: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to launch a filibuster, meaning Republicans need eight Dems to break ranks to avoid having to "go nuclear" and force Gorsuch through with a simple majority. Other Dems are skeptical of the filibuster plan, but Manchin and Heitkamp have gone a step further in saying they'll vote to confirm Gorsuch.

Why it matters: We said earlier that Manchin's move could provide an opening for other Dems who don't want to battle the GOP over Gorsuch. With two now having jumped ship, this is turning into a major test of the Dems' resolve.

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Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the president's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

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

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,273,794 — Total deaths: 69,419 — Total recoveries: 260,193Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 337,274 — Total deaths: 9,633 — Total recoveries: 17,449Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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