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A furious Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) emerged from Wednesday's classified briefing by the Trump administration on the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, calling it "insulting and demeaning" that briefers instructed senators not to debate the appropriateness of further military action against Iran.

"They're appearing before a co-equal branch of government responsible for their funding, for their confirmation, for any approval of any military action they might undertake. They had to leave after 75 minutes, while they were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public. I find that absolutely insane. I think it's unacceptable."
— Mike Lee

Why it matters: Lee said that he entered the briefing "undecided" on whether to vote for a Senate resolution curbing President Trump's military action toward Iran and left the briefing "decided."

  • It's rare to see a Republican senator so harshly rebuke the Trump administration, but Lee — along with fellow libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — did not hold back on condemning officials for suggesting that members of Congress debating military action would further embolden Iran.
  • "They were asked repeatedly, what, if anything, would trigger the need for the administration to come back to Congress for a declaration of war or an Authorization for the Use of Military Force," Lee added. "At one point, I believe one of the briefers said something like, “I’m sure we can think of something.” But they struggled to identify anything."

Go deeper: House to vote to curtail Trump's war powers against Iran

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.