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Photo: Rod Lamkey Pool/Getty Images

Before senators begin debating an expected challenge to Arizona's Electoral College vote Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell will deliver a weighty speech trying to save the Senate from itself, people familiar with his plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: The majority leader had hoped to keep his fellow Republicans from challenging the 2020 election results, but now that over a dozen senators will, the history-lover aims to keep his party from even deeper self-inflicted wounds.

What we’re hearing: During a Joint Session with the House, lawmakers plan to object first to Arizona's results, which come up early in the alphabetical roll call of states. McConnell is expected to be the first senator to speak after he and his colleagues return to their chamber.

  • McConnell will draw on the same principles he laid out during a call with the Republican conference last week. He said Wednesday's vote certifying Joe Biden's victory would be "the most consequential I have ever cast.”
  • McConnell fears the vote will put Republicans up for re-election in 2022 in a horrible position — forcing them to choose between defying the most popular politician in the party, Donald Trump, and fueling Democratic charges they are undermining democracy.
  • The speech is sure to deepen President Trump's anger with McConnell, who referred to him tonight as part of "the weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party."
  • The remarks also will be McConnell's first in public following today’s pivotal Senate runoffs in Georgia.

Between the lines: The speech will create a clear separation between Republicans who are tethered to reality versus those with concerns — and further political ambitions — that mirror Trump’s.


Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

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