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Barack Obama speaking at the funeral of late Rep. John Lewis on July 30. Photo: Alyssa Pointer/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama endorsed a slew of progressive policies related to voting rights during his eulogy for the late Rep. John Lewis on Thursday, including abolishing the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Revoking the Senate's long-standing 60-vote threshold used by senators to delay or block legislative action would significantly limit the minority party's power in the chamber.

The big picture ... Obama said removing the filibuster may be necessary to pass the following legislation:

  • Automatically registering Americans to vote
  • Making Election Day a federal holiday
  • Giving equal representation to citizens of Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico
  • Ending partisan gerrymandering
  • Restoring voting rights for convicted felons
  • Expanding early voting
  • Restoring the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act

What they're saying: "If all this takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the god-given rights of every American, then that's what we should do," Obama said.

Between the lines: Obama's endorsement of eliminating the filibuster comes as Democrats are currently favored by the Cook Political Report to gain five to seven Senate seats, which could give them the majority needed to abolish the chamber rule.

  • Joe Biden has yet to concretely say if he would direct his Senate allies to pursue abolishing the filibuster if elected president.
  • He told the New York Times in July that it will "depend on how obstreperous they become,” referring to Republicans.

Go deeper ... Obama: "John Lewis will be a founding father" of America's better future

Go deeper

All eyes — and $$$ — on Georgia

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Brace yourself for Part II of the 2020 election — it starts today, in Georgia. Hundreds of millions of dollars are about to pour into the Peach State, now that control of the Senate — and the fate of the next president's agenda — hinges on runoffs for not one but both of the state's seats, set for Jan. 5.

Why it matters: If Joe Biden goes to the White House, the outcomes of these races will determine whether he can move aggressively to enact Democratic policy priorities and confirm his top cabinet and judicial nominees.

Updated 53 mins ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker

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