Alex Brandon / AP

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee Monday evening he sees "no evidence Mr. Putin wants a positive relationship" with the U.S., but added he thinks North Korea is the "most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security," putting it past Russia.

Mattis also critiqued the defense budget, noting he is "shocked" by the low level of U.S. military preparedness. Trump's proposal aims to remedy that by boosting defense spending, but not by as much as many hawks would like:

  • Trump vs. Obama: Trump's proposal calls for $603 billion for the DOD, whereas Obama's called for $584 billion — that is to say "it's basically the Obama approach with a little bit more, but not much," as committee chairman Mac Thornberry put it.
  • That's not enough for defense hawks. They want another $37 billion. John McCain said, the "request is inadequate to the challenges we face" and "illegal under current law" — that's because the 2011 Budget Control Act which is still in place, and means his proposal is $54 billion over budget caps, per the Washington Examiner.

There are even cuts affecting the military: The proposal would lead to military base closures in 2021, which is likely to upset lawmakers, according to The Hill. Mattis said this could generate $2 billion or more in yearly savings.

What else Mattis said:

  • Although Korea is the most dangerous threat to the U.S., he's confident the U.S. can defend itself.
  • The situation in Qatar is "not tidy" but "moving in the right direction."
  • "ISIS and other terrorist organizations represent a clear and present danger."

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.