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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate voted 89-10 Thursday to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Why it matters: The deal now heads to President Trump's desk for his signature, allowing the president to accomplish one of his biggest policy goals ahead of his 2020 re-election battle — hours before the official start of his impeachment trial

  • The Senate moved quickly to pass the deal just before it takes up the impeachment articles against Trump from the House, kicking off a trial that will monopolize its next few weeks of business.

The big picture, via Axios' Jonathan Swan: No traditional Republican would have agreed to this deal in the pre-Trump era. It's a deal tailor-made for organized labor and protectionist Democrats.

  • That Republicans are willing to vote for it is a testament to the awesome power Trump wields over his party.
  • Trump didn't care about traditional GOP trade priorities and he made Republicans irrelevant to the negotiations.

Worth noting: Democrats, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, realized that passing USMCA was just as important for their representatives in swing districts ahead of 2020, per Axios' Alayna Treene and Stef Kight.

  • The deal's passage provides Pelosi the ability to argue on the campaign trail that she can both impeach Trump — and still get significant legislation passed.

The other side: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were among those to oppose the deal's passage on the grounds that it does not address climate change.

  • Other senators to vote "no" included Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) — the only Republican senator to oppose the deal.

Go deeper: The trade deal that might survive impeachment

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
6 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.