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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Not all are created equal. Democrats often contend with an outspoken, very progressive wing of their caucus and try to keep centrists from crossing party lines. Republicans have senators who led efforts to invalidate the 2020 election results and flirted with the same conspiracy theories that fueled groups involved in the Capitol siege.

Republicans:
  • Rand Paul (Kentucky): The libertarian frequently bucks leadership and stalls compromises. He's not afraid to be on an island within his party.
  • Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Missouri): Both have an eye on the 2024 presidential race, and both will break with leadership for political benefit. The two ignited the Senate debate over challenging the Electoral College votes.
  • Ron Johnson (Wisconsin): He didn't hesitate to open political investigations into then-President Trump's opponents, even when Sen. Mitch McConnell advised against them.

Time will tell about whether GOP freshmen Sens. Roger Marshall (Kansas) and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama) also will haunt McConnell's plans, our congressional sources say.

Democrats/Independents:
  • Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia) aren't afraid to stray across party lines. The latest example: They had private conversations with Republicans, including McConnell, signaling they wouldn't back Democratic efforts to eliminate the filibuster.
  • Bernie Sanders (Vermont): The independent who caucuses with the Democrats is fearless and refuses to fall in line. He and Hawley made an unlikely pair when they teamed up to push leadership for $2,000 stimulus checks in the last COVID relief bill.

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

First-time homebuyers shrink as prices spike

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home sales cooled as prices continued to heat up in August.

Driving the news: The share of first-time existing homebuyers (29%) last month was the smallest in two years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - World

Airbnb co-founders double Afghan refugee program to 40,000

Afghan refugees arriving at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in August 2021. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and co-founder Joe Gebbia said during a visit to Washington on Wednesday that they're offering temporary housing to 40,000 Afghan refugees worldwide, doubling a previous commitment.

The big picture: The housing typically lasts several weeks, and Airbnb and Airbnb.org provide subsidies to hosts. Hosts and donors also help pay.