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President Biden and the MIlwaukee Bucks at the White House. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Biden welcomed the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA's 2021 champion, at the White House for a ceremony Monday, a return for a tradition that was briefly halted during the Trump administration.

The intrigue: The Bucks are the first NBA champions to visit the White House since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, just two days after former President Trump was elected.

Flashback: In 2017 and 2018, the Golden State Warriors declined to visit the White House because of disagreements with Trump.

  • The Toronto Raptors declined to visit for similar reasons in 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the Los Angeles Lakers' plans in 2020, per the Washington Post.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: "You did the work on the offseason and during the grueling regular season in the playoffs down zero to against Brooklyn, and ... and [in the finals] down zero to two against Phoenix [you] never gave up. I watched, it was amazing to watch you came back," President Biden said during the ceremony.

"This is a great example that with hard work, with sacrifices, if you dedicate yourself and waking up every single day and try to get better in anything you're doing anything you love and believe in your dreams you can accomplish great things in life."
— Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo at the White House
In photos
President Biden motions during his remarks celebrating the Milwaukee Bucks's NBA Championship. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
President Biden being presented with a commemorative Bucks Jersey from Bucks owner Marc Lasry (R) and GIannis Antetokounmpo (C). Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
President Biden (C) posing with Jrue Holiday (L) and Donte DiVincenzo (R) of the Milwaukee Bucks. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks give a speech at the White House while celebrating the event. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Go deeper

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.