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Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In the 24 hours since former special counsel Robert Mueller warned of future election interference in his congressional testimony, Senate Republicans have blocked a collection of election security bills and a cybersecurity measure.

The latest: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday blocked Democrats from pushing forward a House-passed bill to authorize $775 million in state funding over the next 2 years to bolster voting system security, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Mueller testified on the Hill Wednesday that "many more countries are developing capabilities to replicate" what the Russians did in 2016. "They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign," he said. Per New York Magazine, there's concern that if the law's not updated, it could leave the U.S. open to further interference.

Details: Democrats also sought consent to pass 2 bills that would require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about foreign offers of assistance and that would let the Senate sergeant-at-arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for personal devices and accounts of senators and staff, The Hill notes.

  • Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) blocked these bills, without stating whether she made the motion by herself or on behalf of her party, per New York Magazine.

What they're saying: The magazine reports that Senate Intelligence Committee vice-chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said as he condemned Sen. Hyde-Smith’s motion, "Mueller’s testimony should serve as a warning to every member of this body about what could happen in 2020, literally in our next elections."

The other side: According to CNN, the GOP says that Congress has already improved security for the upcoming election. Already, U.S. law forbids campaigns from accepting or soliciting foreign assistance. However, the U.S. government does not enforce reporting mandates on campaigns nor candidates, according to Newsweek. Republicans have also warned of attempts to "federalize" elections, The Hill notes.

Go deeper: Read Mueller's opening statement to Congress

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

5 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.