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A motorist passes a Planned Parenthood clinic on May 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

By introducing an amendment that would defund Planned Parenthood, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have revived an abortion controversy that has helped kill the annual HHS spending bill for more than a decade.

Why it matters: The Senate has been doing an unusually good job moving appropriations bills, but it wouldn't be surprising if Planned Parenthood funding brings the process to an impasse yet again.

The big picture: "We are still trying to get a vote," said Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Lee. He said leadership has "not yet" indicated that will happen. If leadership does bring the amendment up for a vote, it would be "a test of our deal on poison pills," said a Democratic leadership aide, adding that the issue is "up in the air."

Separately, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that an opioids bill is a priority after the Labor Day weekend and could potentially even be passed on a voice vote. 

  • "Opioids remains a very big bipartisan priority here in the Senate," he told reporters. 

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sydney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.