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Combination images of Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath. Photo: Mark Wilson/Jason Davis/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic challenger Amy McGrath clashed on issues including the stalled coronavirus stimulus package and the Supreme Court during their debate in Kentucky Monday evening.

Why it matters: This was the first and possibly only debate between six-term lawmaker McConnell and former Marine fighter pilot McGrath, as Kentucky election officials prepare to begin in-person early voting Tuesday.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: During the debate, McGrath graded the coronavirus response of President Trump and Congress an "F" and said that McConnell "built a Senate that is so dysfunctional and so partisan that even in the middle of a national crisis he can’t get it done."

  • "His one job is to help America through this crisis right now in passing legislation to keep our economy afloat so that people can make ends meet," she said. "And instead of doing that, he is trying to ram through a Supreme Court."
  • McConnell said Republicans had been trying to strike a deal on a new stimulus package and blamed House Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) for stalled negotiations.
"Look, I know how to make deals. I made three major deals with Joe Biden during the Obama era. What the problem is here is the unwillingness of the Speaker to make a deal."
— McConnell

Of note: The debate came hours after the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

  • McGrath said during the debate that the first case the Supreme Court was due to take on after November's election would be on the Affordable Care Act.
  • McConnell responded, "No one believes the Supreme Court is going to strike down the Affordable Care Act."

Go deeper

Chuck Schumer is now majority leader as 3 new Democratic senators are sworn in

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is officially Senate majority leader after the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and the swearing-in of new Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

Why it matters: With a 50-50 Senate, Schumer will control a narrow majority with Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to President Biden's agenda, from getting his coronavirus relief proposal passed to forgiving student debt.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.