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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

In his maiden Senate speech on Wednesday, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) called the push for voting restrictions by Republicans in his home state of Georgia "Jim Crow in new clothes" and urged Congress to pass new voting protections at the federal level.

Why it matters: Georgia swung blue for President Biden in 2020 and both 2021 Senate races, giving Democrats control in the 50-50 Senate. But the GOP-led state legislature is now advancing measures to roll back and restrict voting access for constituents.

  • Similar efforts are popping up in other legislatures, including Arizona and Florida.

Yes, but: The Senate is currently considering their version of the House's "For the People Act," which would allow universal same-day voting registration, ban the purging of voter rolls, allow all voters to vote by mail, and enact automatic voter registration for Americans age 18 and up.

  • But the bill requires Republican support, as it needs 60 votes to pass the Senate.

What he's saying: "Politicians in my home state and all across America in their craven lust for power launched a full-fledged assault on voting rights. They are focused on winning at any cost — even the cost of the democracy itself," Warnock said.

  • "I submit that it is the job of each citizen to stand up for the voting rights of every citizen, and it is the job of this body to do all that it can to defend the viability of our democracy," he added.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.

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