U.S. President Donald J. Trump talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Because the tax bill reduced government revenues, Congress must act to raise the debt limit by early March, instead of as late as April, the Congressional Budget Office said today, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Failing to raise the debt limit — which would prevent the U.S. from continuing to borrow money to pay its bills — is perhaps the most dangerous of the deadlines awaiting Congress early this year. Treasury markets are already "starting to show apprehension," Bloomberg reported. A failure would be chaotic to the world economy, and could mean delays in Social Security benefit or other government payments.

Go Deeper: the Axios Facts Matter on failing to raise the debt limit and the difference between the debt limit fight and the government shutdown fight.

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2 hours ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.