Dec 21, 2017

McConnell: Welfare & entitlement reform not on 2018 agenda

Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water Thursday on the idea of doing welfare and entitlement reform on a partisan basis next year. He told Axios' Mike Allen that he "would not expect to see" welfare reform on the agenda in 2018.

"We have to have Democratic involvement. So things like infrastructure...to do something in that area we're going to have to have Democratic participation."

Why this matters: If McConnell doesn't want to do welfare reform in the upper chamber — a politically risky endeavor, to say the least — it's not happening, no matter how badly Speaker Paul Ryan, who has said he'd like to use reconciliation to take these on in 2018, wants it.

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The well of protective gear in the U.S. is running dry

Medical workers wear masks as they walk back to GW hospital in D.C. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. government's great coronavirus airlift came not a minute too soon.

What they're saying: Trump administration officials are anonymously sounding the alarm that America's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment is running dangerously low, the WashPost reports this afternoon

Scoop: Netanyahu shared fake video as proof of Iranian virus cover-up

Netanyahu chairs a weekly cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared with his cabinet a video he claimed was evidence of Iran concealing coronavirus deaths by dropping bodies in garbage dumps, two cabinet ministers tell me.

Behind the scenes: Several hours later, Netanyahu's office realized the video had nothing to do with Iran, or with the coronavirus crisis. It was a clip from “Pandemic," a 2007 Hallmark Channel mini-series.

Go deeperArrow7 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 921,924 — Total deaths: 46,252 — Total recoveries: 192,964Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 206,207 — Total deaths: 4,542 — Total recoveries: 8,413Map.
  3. Business updates: Very small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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