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Majority Leader McConnell. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

In his year-end news conference on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that with the Senate split 51-49 next year they'll have to work on bipartisan issues such as a revisitation of banking legislation which would change parts of Dodd Frank. He touted 2017 as a year of "extraordinary accomplishment by any standard," but went on to say it was also "pretty partisan."

Entitlement reform: McConnell said that President Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and him will be meeting in the next few weeks to discuss what to do about entitlement reform in 2018.

Other highlights:

  • On Trump's tweets: McConnell said he wasn't a fan of Trump's tweets until this week. He added that he and the President "have established a really good working relationship" and that "tax exercise kind of brought everything together."
  • Obamacare: McConnell hinted that making any more changes to Obamacare would be difficult with the slim Republican majority, but pointed to the GOP achievement of repealing the individual mandate as part of the tax cut bill.
  • On sexual harassment: He pointed to Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Richard Shelby who have been working on proposals for improving the sexual harassment filing process. He said he hopes to work on the policies in a bipartisan manner.
  • On Steve Bannon's influence in the Alabama election: "The political genius on display — throwing away a seat in the reddest state in America, is hard to ignore."
  • On DACA: McConnell refused to say he supported a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, but said that the legal immigration system should be improved — particularly stopping chain migration.
  • One fun thing: When asked if he planned to visit Mar-a-Lago over the holiday, McConnell laughed and said he had no plans.

Go deeper: McConnell sat down with Axios' Mike Allen on Thursday.

Go deeper

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.