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Mitch McConnell. Photo: Mark Wilson/Staff/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday announced his support to appropriate $250 million for election security.

The big picture: Despite bipartisan and Democrat-led bills crossing his desk, McConnell has regularly thwarted election security legislation. Per McConnell, the cash influx "will bring our total allocation for election security to more than $600 million since fiscal 2018."

Why it matters: While individual states are improving security on their own, there are still cost constraints some states can't surmount without federal funding.

Conservative activists Grover Norquist and Adam Brandon held a press conference on Wednesday to push McConnell toward action, while Democrats have needled him on the issue since 2016.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said $250 million in funding would not eliminate the need for a more comprehensive election security plan.

Homeland Security expressed optimism Thursday. "We're excited about the deal if it comes to pass," Christopher Krebs, director of DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which handles the department's efforts in election security, told reporters at a cybersecurity conference.

  • But, but, but: Krebs added that states would value consistent, dependable funding more than a one-time cash splurge.

Go deeper: McConnell lashes out at media, Democrats over "Moscow Mitch" label

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.