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President Trump handed Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer the deal of the century this morning.

One top Republican described the move to me as the legislative equivalent of giving an entire stockpile of weapons to Democrats and inviting them to take the entire Republican Party hostage. Republicans are in a state of shock.

Sources inside and close to leadership have used the full range of expletives in text messages reacting to what Trump did this morning. I've yet to speak to a White House official who can convincingly explain Trump's logic.

Here's what Trump did:

He ignored the pleas of his own Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and of Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and he sided with the Pelosi-Schumer plan to combine Hurricane Harvey relief funding with extending the debt limit and funding the government, both for three months. (GOP leaders wanted to extend the debt limit for 18 months.)Republican leadership sources say Democrats were bluffing and would never follow through on their threat to oppose a longer-term debt ceiling increase.Why this matters: Hurricane Harvey gave Republican leadership a rare opportunity to take the most controversial and politically toxic item — the debt ceiling — off the table for the rest of this Congress. Trump has blown up that opportunity.

When the debt ceiling and government funding bills expire in December, Democrats will have all the leverage, because Republicans can't pass a CR or debt ceiling without Democratic votes.That will also force Republicans to support a funding bill that legalizes the protection of illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children (the DACA program that Trump says he'll end in six months if Congress doesn't act.)

A top Republican close to leadership captures the prevailing sentiment on Capitol Hill today: "Dems bluffed their way into total victory."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Technology

AI and automation are creating a hybrid workforce

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AI and automation are receiving a boost during the coronavirus pandemic that in the short term is creating a new hybrid workforce rather than destroying jobs outright.

The big picture: While the forces of automation and AI will eliminate some jobs and create some new ones, the vast majority will remain but be dramatically changed. The challenge for employers will be ensuring workforces are ready for the effects of technology.

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