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C-SPAN2 via AP

Sen. John McCain returned to the Senate floor for an impassioned speech, calling for both Republicans and Democrats to come together.

The big quote: "Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and the television and the internet — to hell with them! They don't want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood."

On a health care compromise: "We haven't found it yet, and I'm not sure we will…I will not vote for this bill as it is today. It's a shell of a bill right now. We all know that…If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let's return to regular order."

Worth considering: Just before his vote, McCain voted yes on a motion to proceed to debate a repeal of the Affordable Care Act — without knowing exactly what a repeal bill looks like and with full knowledge that the motion's failure would very likely force Sen. Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back to regular order.

More from McCain:

  • An announcement: McCain will be returning home to treat his recently-diagnosed brain cancer, but will come back to the Senate when needed.
  • The Senate's power: "We are not the president's subordinates. We are his equals."
  • American exceptionalism: "We don't hide behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity."
  • His time in the Senate: "My service here is the most important job I've had in my life."
  • On presiding over the Senate: "I've sat in that chair, it's as close as I'll ever be to a presidency."

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.