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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

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.