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Ted Cruz, the face of the 2013 government shutdown, says the Democrats will be to blame if the government shuts down later this month, the Texas Tribune reports.

"You know, I very much hope we don't have a shutdown. I will say I'm concerned. I think Chuck Schumer and the Democrats want a shutdown."

Why it matters: This is clearly posturing, and Cruz isn't the first Republican to blame the Dems in advance for a potential shutdown. But the posturing wouldn't be necessary if Cruz and other hardliners didn't plan to make a stand.

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.