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Pelosi sets 48-hour deadline for White House on stimulus talks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given the White House a 48-hour deadline to reconcile differences in stimulus negotiations "to demonstrate that the administration is serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement," a top Pelosi aide tweeted Sunday night.

The state of play: Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for over an hour Saturday night, and the discussions yielded "some encouraging news on testing," deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said. But the pair still had differences on a plan for testing and contact tracing and "measures to address the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color."


  • Hammill had tweeted on Thursday Mnuchin had agreed to accept the Democrats' language on a national testing plan with "minor" edits after an hourlong discussions.
  • President Trump has been eager for a pre-election stimulus boost to the economy and has encouraged Mnuchin to go further than his current $1.8 trillion proposal — even though it has virtually no chance of passing the Senate.

Yes, but: The House speaker did not say what would happen if the parties didn't reach a deal by the deadline she imposed.

What they're saying: "The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at 7:40 p.m. by phone tonight for just over an hour. While there was some encouraging news on testing, there remains work to do to ensure there is a comprehensive testing plan that includes contact tracing and additional measures to address the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color," Hammill wrote in a series of tweets.

  • "There remains an array of additional differences as we go provision by provision that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours."
  • "Decisions must be made by the White House in order to demonstrate that the Administration is serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement that provides for Americans with the greatest needs during the pandemic."

The other side: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would not put a potential $1.8 trillion+ deal struck by Democrats and the Trump administration on the Senate floor. Instead, the Senate will vote next week on a Paycheck Protection Program extension and a targeted $500 billion relief package.

What to watch: Pelosi and Mnuchin are set to continue talks on Monday, per the Wall Street Journal.

Inside Liz Cheney's plans to continue fighting for soul of GOP after leadership ouster

As she faces a voteto be thrown out of House Republican leadership, Rep. Liz Cheney has told associates she doesn’t plan on going anywhere — and plans to run for re-election.

What to watch: In the meantime,as she sees it, she will aggressively pursue a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, after an expected vote to strip her of her post as GOP conference chair, the party's No. 3 House post.

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Biden plans to send envoy as Israel and Hamas escalate toward war

Tel Aviv — With Israel and Hamas now engaged in their most destructive fight in seven years, the Biden administration is considering plans to dispatch a State Department official to join the de-escalation efforts, five Israeli officials and Western diplomats tell me.

Driving the news: The fighting intensified overnight, with Hamas and other militants firing a second barrage of over 100 rockets toward Tel Aviv and other nearby cities, and Israel continuing its air campaign in the Gaza Strip by destroying high-rise buildings, Hamas facilities and rocket units.

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Swing-voter focus group says ousting Liz Cheney is a mistake

As House Republicans meet to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post for criticizing Donald Trump, swing voters in Axios' latest Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups hold a near-unanimous view that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his caucus are making a mistake.

The big picture: Nine of 14 voters said they could vote for a Republican for U.S. House or Senate races next year. All but one ruled out backing any candidate who clings to the former president's lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

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Employees grapple with re-entry anxiety as jobs call them back

Pandemic-related anxieties are entering a new phaseas more employers start to call vaccinated workers back into their offices.

Why it matters: Some employees simply don't want to go back to the office; some are desperate to. Some are struggling to rearrange their routines yet again; some don't have that flexibility. And everyone — employers and employees alike — is figuring out on the fly how to make it work.

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In photos: Long lines and fuel shortages amid Colonial Pipeline shutdown

Reports of fuel shortages across the U.S. emerged on Tuesday as the national average for gasoline prices soared to its highest level since 2014 amid a key fuel pipeline shut down, per Bloomberg.

What's happening: Operator Colonial Pipeline aims to have service restored by the week's end following last Friday's ransomware attack that shut down some 5,500 miles of pipeline from Texas to New Jersey. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency after panic-buying created a fuel shortage.

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Over 100 Republicans threaten to form 3rd party unless GOP breaks from Trump

More than 100 Republicans will sign a letter Thursday threatening to create a third party if the GOP doesn't "break" with former President Trump, Reuters first reported.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Trump's grip on the GOP has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Republican Party's "allegiance to Trump" as he continues to make false claims about his 2020 election loss has "dismayed" the group, according to Reuters.

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Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy to announce Senate challenge to Marco Rubio

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy is planning to announce a campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in early June, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Murphy is a proven fundraiser. Jumping in now would give her an early start to build her case for the Democratic nomination and potentially force Rubio and allied GOP groups to spend heavily to retain a seat in a state that’s trending Republican.

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GOP senators hoping White House will counteroffer their infrastructure proposal

Top Republican senators are hoping the White House will make some sort of counteroffer to their infrastructure proposal when they meet with President Biden on Thursday, lawmakers and their aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is a sign of how serious the negotiations are, they say. In advance of the meeting, some of the senators are already publicly signaling the areas in which they have flexibility.

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