J. Scott Applewhite / AP

During the weekly Senate GOP leadership press conference, Mitch McConnell brushed off President Trump's Twitter suggestion over the weekend to kill the legislative filibuster, saying, "There are not the votes in the Senate as I've said repeatedly to the president and all of you to change the rules of the Senate. It would require 50 or 51 Republicans to agree to that. The votes are simply not there."

  • An admission: "It's pretty obvious that our problem on health care was not the Democrats. We didn't have 50 Republicans."
  • Tax reform: McConnell said that Republicans would take tax reform up when they come back after Labor Day with the goal of completing it this year — and it'll be done under reconciliation due to Democratic opposition.
  • Jeff Flake's criticism: "I haven't had a chance to read Jeff Flake's book, but I'm gonna do that."

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Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread

A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.