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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stuck to the basics in his endorsement of President Trump at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, casting the Democratic Party as too focused on elites and dismissive of "middle America" and "flyover country."

Why it matters: The Senate is "the firewall" against the Democratic agenda if Trump is defeated in November, McConnell stressed as he called on voters to "support Republican Senate candidates across the country." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has referred to the GOP-controlled Senate as McConnell's legislative "graveyard."

What he's saying: "They want to defund the police and take away your Second Amendment rights. They want free health care for illegal immigrants, yet they offer no protection at all for unborn Americans. They want to pack the Supreme Court with liberals intent on eroding our constitutional rights."

  • “Today’s Democrat party doesn’t want to improve life for middle America. They prefer that all of us in flyover country keep quiet and let them decide how we should live our lives. They want to tell you when you can go to work. When your kids can go to school. They want to tax your job out of existence, and then send you a government check for unemployment."
  • “They want to tell you what kind of car you can drive. What sources of information are credible. And even how many hamburgers you can eat."
  • “I am immensely proud of the work the Republican Senate has done. We are the firewall against Nancy Pelosi’s agenda. Like President Trump, we won’t be bullied by a liberal media intent on destroying America’s institutions. ... The stakes have never been higher.

Reality check: Joe Biden has repeatedly said that he does not support defunding police, a policy that many progressives have promoted. He said in an interview with activist Ady Barkan that he "absolutely" supports redirecting some funding to address mental health issues or prison reform.

Go deeper

Trump campaign, RNC have raised $207.5 million since Election Day

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said Thursday they have hauled in $207.5 million since Election Day.

Why it matters: The funds have been largely raised through President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. His campaign's slew of lawsuits and recount efforts have seen little success.

Latinas head for the federal bench

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Tom Williams, Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A number of Latina judges recently have been nominated to U.S. federal courts, which for many years saw few Hispanics and Afro-Latinos on their benches.

Why it matters: Decisions made in courtrooms can affect people in ways large and small, with cases on voting rights, abortion, healthcare and more playing out in courts across the country.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.