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Sen. Chuck Schumer now leads the Senate Diversity Initiative. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Staff members for 16 Senate Democrats have become less diverse over the last year and only six senators have a staff that is at or above 50% non-white, according to a comparison of the 2017 and 2018 reports released by the Senate Diversity Initiative.

What's happening: The group, started by Harry Reid in 2007, releases an annual report showing the breakdown of diversity among Senate Democrats' staff members.

Only 6 of the 19 Democratic committee's staff members (like Banking and Small Business) have become more diverse. And Delaware Sen. Tom Carper is the only Democrat to have a double-digit increase in staff members who identify as non-Caucasian.

Why it matters: Democrats pride themselves on being the big tent party, but their senators have some room to grow on hiring more diverse people to work with them.

  • But there are signs that newly-elected senators are taking this seriously. Alabama Sen. Doug Jones' staff is 40% non-white — by far the highest among his colleagues.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
7 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

13 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Wall Street bets it all on a vaccine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's the time of year when Wall Street shops are rolling out predictions for where they see the stock market headed in the coming year. There's one common theme: Widespread distribution of a vaccine is the reason to be bullish.

Why it matters: Analysts say vaccines will help the economy heal, corporate profits rebound and stock market continue its upward trajectory.