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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.

Andrew Cuomo refuses to resign: "I never touched anyone inappropriately"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he will not resign from his post, despite an independent investigation finding that he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law.

Why it matters: Cuomo had previously urged those calling for his resignation — including nearly every prominent New York Democrat — to wait for the results of the investigation overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The findings were damning, but Cuomo said he is not going anywhere.

3 hours ago - Health

New York City to require vaccination proof for indoor activities

New York City will require proof of vaccination to participate in indoor activities, including visiting gyms and restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The mandate is the first of its kind for a major U.S. city, according to de Blasio. France and Italy announced similar requirements last month.

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