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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Responding to demands from seven House committee chairs, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will brief House lawmakers in a classified setting Thursday about why the administration has elected to lift sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with close ties to the Kremlin, previously employed President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. The Washington Post has reported that Manafort — who was at one point $10 million in debt to the Russian oligarch — offered Deripaska “private briefings” at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Go deeper

8 Senate Democrats vote against adding $15 minimum wage to COVID relief

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eight Democratic senators on Friday voted against Sen. Bernie Sanders' amendment to ignore a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian and add a $15 minimum wage provision to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

The state of play: The vote was held open for hours on Friday afternoon — even after every senator had voted — due to a standoff in negotiations over the next amendments that the Senate will take up.

CDC: Easing mask mandates led to higher COVID cases and deaths

Customer at a supermarket chain in Austin, Texas. Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Easing mask restrictions and on-site dining have increased COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The report's findings converge with actions from governors this week easing mask mandates and announcing plans to reopen nonessential businesses like restaurants.

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