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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) officially addressed Joe Biden as president-elect on Tuesday, saying in a speech on the Senate floor: "The Electoral College has spoken."

Why it matters: McConnell is the most prominent Republican to concede that President Trump lost the November election and congratulate Biden on his victory.

  • Most Republicans on Capitol Hill have refused to acknowledge that Biden had won given Trump's extended legal battle contesting the elections results.
  • But after Biden officially secured 270 electoral votes in Monday's meeting of the Electoral College, a growing number of GOP lawmakers are conceding that Trump lost and preparing for the next administration.

The latest: Biden told reporters in Delaware on Tuesday afternoon that he had called McConnell to thank him for his congratulations, and that the two agreed to meet soon.

What they're saying: McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, said, "Our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken."

  • "So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden. The president-elect is no stranger to the Senate. He's devoted himself to public service for many years," he continued.
  • "I also want to congratulate the vice president-elect, our colleague from California — Sen. Harris. Beyond our differences, all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time."

The backdrop: McConnell's congratulatory remarks came after a lengthy speech on President Trump’s accomplishments since 2016, which he described as “nearly endless” — emphasizing the conifrmation of three Supreme Court justices.

  • “It would take far more than one speech” to catalogue Trump’s “wins,” McConnell said.

How it's playing: Shortly after McConnell's remarks, Trump shared a Breitbart article on Twitter quoting Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) saying, "‘Trump Won the Electoral College‘ --- I Can Be a Part of the ‘Surrender Caucus‘ or I Can Fight for Our Country."

Go deeper: The Republicans who acknowledged Biden's win after the Electoral College vote

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Updated 9 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker