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Photo: Win McNamee / Getty

The White House is actively trying to stamp out any momentum behind the bipartisan Rounds-King immigration bill. Shortly after President Trump's veto threat, a White House official told reporters on a call Thursday afternoon that senators had been asked to remove their sponsorship from the bill, saying it's possible that they were "simply grievously misinformed about the bill’s outrageous contents."

Why it matters: Even if the Senate manages to get 60 votes on this bill, the White House is making it extra clear that Trump will not sign it into law. Trump tweeted this afternoon that the bill would be a "total catastrophe."

  • Where it stands: Trump has only expressed support for the Grassley bill in the Senate and the Goodlatte bill in the House. "If Dems are actually serious about DACA, they should support the Grassley bill," he said in his tweet.
  • What it does: The bipartisan bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for the "Dreamers," adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, gives $25 billion toward border security and prohibits Dreamers from sponsoring their parents for citizenship.
  • The problem: The official claimed that the bill would significantly increase the legalized immigrant population, wouldn't fund the additional immigration officers that the Department of Homeland Security has requested, and "handcuffs" border agents and ICE officers. "We can't tell ICE officers to stand down until someone gets hurt," the official said.
  • Out for blood: The White House official specifically berated GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham for his response to the Department of Homeland Security's letter condemning the bipartisan bill, calling him "an obstacle to getting immigration done" and "an obstacle to Dreamers." Referring to both the Graham-Durbin and the Rounds-King bills, the official said, "Graham’s presence on those bills is the problem."
  • The other side: Earlier today in a press conference, Graham blamed the White House's veto threat on senior adviser Stephen Miller's influence: "Stephen Miller’s never going to run this show here and get you a successful outcome.”

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
9 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.