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Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Mitch McConnell told Senate Republicans yesterday at their lunch that he planned to keep them working more Fridays and weekends, according to one source in the room and another briefed on his remarks.

Politico first reported the news.

Why this matters: President Trump has been exasperated by the Senate's glacial progress and it's been a point of contention between him and McConnell. The Senate has a ton of work to get through, and dozens of nominations are banked up.

Behind the scenes: A number of the older senators aren't keen on the idea of working weekends, but several younger senators have provided cover for McConnell. Georgia Sen. David Perdue wrote a letter and was supportive of McConnell. "In August, we sent a letter to Leader McConnell and asked him to postpone the August state work period so we could confirm more nominees and make progress on agenda items," Sen. Perdue said. "Now--with 36 legislative days left in the year--we have been raising these concerns again and urging Leader McConnell to turn the Senate on full-time so we can get all of our priorities done from the budget, funding the government, and tax this year."

Go deeper

9 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

9 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.

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