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Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.

The big picture: Democrats have warned that Barrett's confirmation process has destroyed Republicans' credibility, and some have threatened to retaliate by expanding the Supreme Court if they take the White House and Senate.

  • "[T]he next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said ahead of Barrett's confirmation vote on Monday.
  • "You may win this vote, but in the process, you will speed the precipitous decline of faith in our institution, our politics, the Senate and the Supreme Court."

What he's saying: McConnell argued that a judicial appointment is more helpful for Republicans in the long term than the passing of legislation.

  • "Permanency depends on the next election. So that’s the way legislation goes," McConnell told Politico. "But in judicial appointments you can have a longer-lasting positive impact.”
  • “In terms of the politics of it, I think it was helpful for us in 2016 and 2018, and it is clearly, I think, a plus in 2020 as well," McConnell said, referencing Republicans' ability to campaign on filling Supreme Court vacancies with conservatives. "So: good for the country and good for us politically as well."

Go deeper: Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Go deeper

Sen. Gary Peters picked to lead Democratic Senate fundraising

Sen. Gary Peters. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Democratic Party's Senate fundraising arm on Thursday named Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) as its chair ahead of the 2022 election, with several Republicans already announcing they won't run again, per Politico.

Why it matters: As chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Peters will be tasked with raising the enormous amounts of money Democrats will need to preserve their razor-thin majority, write Axios' Hans Nichols and Alayna Treene.

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: In the first bipartisan call for a ceasefire, Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined its Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.

Bill Gates faces scrutiny over relationship with Microsoft employee, Epstein ties

Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives for Bill Gates pushed back on claims Sunday that he left Microsoft's board because of an earlier sexual relationship and against two other reports detailing more extensive ties with Jeffrey Epstein than had previously been reported.

Driving the news: Microsoft said in an emailed statement to Axios that it "received a concern" in 2019 that its co-founder "sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," but denied a Wall Street Journal report that its board members thought Gates should resign over the matter.

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