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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Friday he would consider an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) so long as it strengthened the President's hand. He warned that Obama's requests for new AUMFs were too "restrictive" since they would have limited future executive action:

I would be interested in taking a look at an AUMF if the president feels like he needs it…if it strengthens his hand.

Why it matters: Some Senators are saying the 2001 Bush-era AUMF doesn't give Trump the authority to escalate beyond airstrikes in Syria.

On the airstrikes: McConnell added he is generally supportive of the strikes Trump carried out in Syria: "I think the president had the authority to do what he did and I'm glad he did it," adding, "The Russians are not our friends."

On solutions:

  • For Syrian refugees: McConnell wouldn't comment on whether Trump should let refugees into the U.S., but said it would be beneficial to create a safe zone in Syria, "which would require some military action…so people don't feel like they have to run for their lives."
  • For dealing with Assad: "I don't see how there can possibly be any settlement in Syria that includes Bashar al-Assad."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

5 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.