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Schumer and McConnell in the Capitol. Photo: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

"Congress moved a step closer to relaxing the wave of crisis-era restrictions placed on the banking industry, ... with Senate approval of a bipartisan plan to ease rules for small and midsize banks," per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: "The bill, which has a good chance of becoming law, would be the most significant revamp of financial rules since Republicans took control of government last year."

  • "Approved on a 67-31 vote, it seeks to cut red tape and relieve lenders from some of the most onerous rules put in place after the financial crisis, including restrictions meant to limit the damage firms could cause to the economy."
  • "Seventeen centrists from the Democratic caucus supported the bill, bucking the party’s liberals who eight years ago approved a sweeping legislative package meant to prevent another financial meltdown."

Rob Nichols, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, said the strongly bipartisan vote provides a formula for other accomplishments in a gridlocked age:

  • Over years of fly-ins and other Capitol visits, bankers from around the country provided lawmakers with data-rich, fact-based, artful arguments.
  • Nichols: "Dodd-Frank isn't scripture. It can be improved."

Go deeper

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.