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Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting flanked by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (right) and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left). Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced it will host Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for a public hearing about passing a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF). Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump have all used a broad 2001 AUMF to justify military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

After Mattis and Tillerson participated in a closed-door session with senators this August, Senator Tim Kaine said they "did not specifically reject" a new AUMF. Rand Paul's proposal to repeal the 2001 AUMF was shot down by a 61-36 vote.

Be smart: Senator Chris Murphy, who sits on the committee, views passing a new AUMF as a way to signal to Trump he can't take action on North Korea without congressional approval.

Senator Tim Kaine said in a statement that the "questions surrounding the death of American service members in Niger show the urgent need to have a public discussion about the current extent of our military operations around the world," and said he thinks a new AUMF can be better formulated to address non-state actors.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.