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Local politicians are embracing Trumpian tactics to fight election results

President Trump may be leaving the White House on Jan. 20, but his legal challenges and refusal to concede could become far more normal in U.S. politics.

Why it matters: GOP support for his tactics has been far broader than immediately after the election.


The big picture: Lawmakers in battleground states are providing pedestals for the airing of baseless legal grievances, AP reports.

  • Arizona: The chairperson of the Arizona GOP asked a court to overturn Biden’s win. Republicans held a meeting where Trump's lawyers were permitted to claim the state's vote counts were fraudulent without providing evidence.
  • Michigan: Lawmakers allowed Rudy Giuliani to testify at a now-infamous legislative hearing last week. One Republican member of the state's board of election canvassers abstained from certifying the final vote.
  • Pennsylvania: 64 lawmakers asked Congress to decline to accept the state's electors.

Candidates are embracing Trumpian tactics, Axios' Ursula Perano reports.

  • House candidate Sean Parnell (R-Pa.) has declined to concede in his race against incumbent Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) and has joined a petition in Commonwealth Court against the Pennsylvania general assembly arguing the state's mail-in ballots were illegitimate, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
  • GOP gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp in Washington state has refused to concede after the election despite a shellacking from incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee (D).
  • Multiple other candidates insisted their losses were the result of widespread fraud. None have provided credible evidence.

The bottom line: Federal election security officials have repeatedly said this election was safe and free of widespread fraud.

Go deeper: The elected Republicans who acknowledge Biden won

UN human rights chief: At least 54 killed, over 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

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The U.S. may be setting itself up for a fourth coronavirus wave

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.

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Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as "pedestrians."

Why it matters: Fears of a dystopian urban world where people dodge heavy, fast-moving droids are colliding with the aims of robot developers large and small — including Amazon and FedEx — to deploy delivery fleets.

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The biggest obstacle to a wealth tax

Taxing the rich is an idea that's back. An "ultra-millionaire tax" introduced by Elizabeth Warren and other left-wing Democrats this week would raise more than $3 trillion over 10 years, they say, while making the tax system as a whole more fair.

Why it matters: New taxes would be a necessary part of any Democratic plan to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. But President Biden has more urgent priorities — and Warren's wealth tax in particular faces constitutional obstacles that make it a hard sell.

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House passes For the People Act to expand voting rights

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

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House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

The House voted 220-212onWednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

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Republicans are demanding a full 600-page reading of Biden’s COVID relief bill

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

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Here’s how a single resignation, retirement or death could flip control of the 50-50 Senate

Note: Bernie Sanders is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Data: Axios Research/ProPublica/NCSL; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Nineteen seats in the U.S. Senate could potentially flip parties if there's an unexpected vacancy, according to Axios' analysis of state vacancy rules, which most often allow the governor to appoint a replacement.

Why it matters: Depending on the senator, a single resignation, retirement or death — by accident or old age — could flip control of the 50-50 Senate, or give Democrats a two-vote cushion.

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