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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence defended Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), saying Democrats' calls to abolish the agency are "not just outrageous, they're irresponsible," while visiting ICE headquarters in D.C., CNN reports.

"The American people have a right to their opinions, but these spurious attacks on ICE by our political leaders must stop. The type of language that's being used to describe the men and women in this agency and the work that you do every day is unacceptable. ... At a time when some people are actually calling for the abolition of ICE, in this White House, let me clear, we are with you 100 percent."
— Vice President Pence, per CNN

Go deeper: The left's push to #AbolishICE, Top Democrats see danger on sudden party push to abolish ICE

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.