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The U.S. Capitol dome. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

The Senate: All eyes are on the upper chamber this week, as senators race to pass their tax cuts bill:

  • Tuesday is the first hurdle: The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to hold votes that would pave the way for the tax cut bill to hit the floor. Two undecided Republicans, Johnson and Corker, sit on that Committee. So their votes on Tuesday could tip their hands for later in the week.
  • Thursday or Friday: If things go to plan, the Republican Senate will pass the bill after 20 hours of debate and a long series of votes.

The House votes this week on a resolution requiring all members and staff to complete anti-harassment training. It's the first congressional action to stop this behavior and there could be more to come.Trump's schedule this week:Monday: Lunch with Pence and Republican senators (we aren't sure which ones.)Tuesday: Joins the Senate Republican Policy Lunch to rally the troops before the tax vote.Later that afternoon, Trump will meet at the White House with Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell to discuss the year-end spending deal. I'm also told Defense Secretary Mattis could join, given that defense spending caps are a major part of the negotiations.Wednesday: Trump will travel to Missouri to give a speech promoting tax cuts.Thursday: He and the first lady will participate in a ceremony to light the national Christmas tree.Friday: Lunch with Tillerson and Mattis.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.