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AP

Senators Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein kicked off Tuesday's judiciary hearing on religious hate crimes by highlighting the increasing crime rates against Jewish and Muslim communities. Meanwhile other Senators, including Mazie Hirono and Richard Blumenthal, blamed Trump's perceived anti-Muslim rhetoric and his travel ban for the uptick.

The stats: The Anti-Defamation League said there have been 541 anti-semitic incidents in first four months of this year, an 86 percent increase since 2016, according to Feinstein. Meanwhile, there has been a 67 percent rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes from 2014-2015.

Why this matters: There has been a significant increase in hate crimes, including bomb threats on Jewish community centers and attacks on Muslim mosques, since the November election.

One big problem: The majority of crimes are left up to states and local jurisdictions to prosecute, rather than the federal government. The DOJ has been training local police officers and working with community groups to receive better feedback.

Go deeper

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday signed a slew of executive orders to address the coronavirus pandemic, including an interstate face mask mandate and an order to renew supplies of PPE, testing materials and vaccines through the Defense Production Act.

Why it matters: The stakes are highest for Biden’s vaccination effort. Several states cannot keep up with demand.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.