According to an internal briefing obtained by the Washington Post, the Trump administration intends to furlough and possibly lay off 150 employees from the Office of Personnel Management on Oct. 1 if Congress refuses to axe the department entirely.

The backdrop: Administration officials characterize OPM as financially distressed, demanding a Congressional commitment to dissolve the agency by June 30 — or else face staff cuts.

The big picture: The administration argued in its original proposal to dismantle the department that it did not plan to lay off any of the 5,565 employees; but instead to reallocate them to three different departments and shrink through retirements and unfilled vacancies. The agency manages the civilian federal workforce, with responsibilities including background checks for government job applicants and human resource responsibilities like payroll and training.

  • Members of both parties in Congress have signaled they do not intend to dismantle the agency, the Post wrote.

But, but, but: “A report by a federal watchdog this week concluded that killing the agency would hinder, not ease, the long-standing retirement claims backlog,” per the Post.

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Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 30,911,999 — Total deaths: 959,059— Total recoveries: 21,147,903Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30p.m. ET: 6,796,384 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.