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Ad screenshot. Courtesy: Defending American Democracy

The bipartisan group Defending American Democracy is spending $1 million on a TV ad targeting Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), has rejected proposals to lower the filibuster threshold to pass election reform legislation with only Democratic votes — while voting rights is front and center for the Democratic Party.

What we're watching: The ad focuses on Sinema’s resistance to changing Senate rules to advance the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act over unified GOP opposition.

  • The ad, which airs nationally and locally in Arizona starting Thursday, features a former Green Beret who recently served on one of her advisory councils.
  • The veteran says to viewers, "Sen. Sinema took an oath, too, but refusing to protect the right to vote undermines everything she swore to do."
  • "Sen. Sinema: Do your duty. Protect our democracy."

The big picture: Senate Democrats plan to vote on broader election reforms by Jan. 17 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised to hold a vote to change the Senate rules if Minority Leader Mitch McConnell leads another GOP filibuster.

  • But doing so in a 50-50 chamber would require Sinema and Manchin's agreement to pass the legislation on a party-line vote.
  • So far, neither has been open to getting rid of the 60-vote threshold, making them targets of progressive activists on the national level and in their home states.

Both senators are open, however, to reforming the Electoral Count Act of 1887 — an idea some Republicans are getting behind, as Axios reported Tuesday.

  • They're also among a bipartisan group of eight senators that met Wednesday to discuss a range of election issues.
  • They include the option to update the outdated bill to clarify the role the vice president and Congress play in certifying presidential elections.

Go deeper

Pence: "Tragic" Jan. 6 no reason to scrap filibuster

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called the Jan. 6 Capitol riot an attempt to "overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states."

Why it matters: Though the former vice president's op-ed in the Washington Post focuses on rebutting filibuster reforms, these are also the most public statements Pence has made about the post-election narrative and the attack as an effort to interfere with President Biden's victory.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.

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