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Sen. Tim Kaine. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Office of Compliance has rejected Sen. Tim Kaine's request for information about the number of sexual harassment claims made against members in the Senate and money spent on settlements, citing the Congressional Accountability Act's confidentiality requirements.

Why it matters: The rejection is inconsistent. In a letter published by Politico, the compliance office's executive director said the "confidentiality provisions" of the 1995 law prohibits the office from providing a detailed response and the information would not be reliable. But earlier this month, the office provided the House Administration Committee with details on taxpayer-funded settlements processed in the lower chamber just one day after they were requested.

Kaine, who had promised to make the information public, tweeted: “Very disappointing. If we truly want to fix the broken system on the Hill, we need to understand the scope of the problem."

Go deeper: Congress has paid $17 million in sexual misconduct and discrimination settlements.

Go deeper

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.