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Mitch McConnell. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has temporarily suspended in-person lunches for the GOP caucus, Axios confirmed Saturday.

Driving the news: The move is a precautionary step, according to a Senate leadership aide. The decision comes as the U.S. experiences a surge in coronavirus cases and after several senators tested positive for COVID-19 or self-quarantined due to exposure in recent weeks.

  • No COVID-19 cases have been linked to GOP lunches, floor activity or committee activity, the aide noted.
  • Senate Republicans have held socially distanced lunches since May, while Senate Democrats have held their weekly caucus lunches by phone.
  • Senate Republicans will now also hold their lunches by phone, the leadership aide said.
  • Politico was first to report McConnell's decision.

What's next: The Senate is scheduled to return from its Thanksgiving break on Monday.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Updated 14 mins ago - World

Russia announces end to massive troop buildup near Ukraine

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia's defense minister said Thursday that massive military exercises near the border with Ukraine had been completed, and that he had ordered troops to return to their permanent bases by May 1, according to state media.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of troops and heavy military equipment had been moved to the border of eastern Ukraine and the annexed territory of Crimea over the last month, sparking fears of a potential Russian invasion.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
33 mins ago - Economy & Business

Private equity's other tax fight

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Private equity is carefully watching the D.C. debate on corporate taxes, in which Senate Democrats seem to be settling on a 25% rate.

Zoom in: Marginal rates obviously matter, but for PE it's just an appetizer before the weedier work begins on issues like corporate interest deductibility.

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