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Republicans privately furious after Trump's post-election implosion blows Senate majority

Republicans,who enabled President Trump with their silence and compliance, are privately furious with him for blowing their Senate majority.

Driving the news: Democrat Raphael Warnock was declared victor over Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of the twin Georgia runoffs at 2 a.m., and will become the Southern state's first Black senator. Democrat Jon Ossoff is on track to beat former Sen. David Perdue in the other runoff, with most of the outstanding votes in Democratic strongholds.


That second victory would mean Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer becomes effective majority leader, taking power from Mitch McConnell.

  • In a 50-50 Senate, Vice President-elect Harris would break ties.

Why it matters: It's a fitting and predictable end to Trump’s reign.

  • The party has now lost the House, Senate and White House on his watch.
  • He leaves Democrats in full control of Washington's agenda, with only the Supreme Court's conservative majority as a counterweight.
  • As a curtain call for Trumpism, approximately a dozen senators and 100+ Republicans today will publicly support an idea that many of them think is idiotic and doomed to fail, as they protest congressional certification of President-elect Biden's victory.

What Senate control means for Dems and Joe Biden:

  • They can try to do big spending and tax hikes via budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority.
  • They can jam through nominees and judicial picks if they stay united.
  • They control what comes to the floor and when.

Between the lines: It'd be tough to go big with a 50-50 Senate, so don't assume a substantial shift. But Democratic control would be a massive blow to Republican hopes of blowing up anything they truly loathe.

👀 What we're watching: Biden sources tell Axios he now can go more progressive on remaining Cabinet picks, notably attorney general and secretary of Labor.

  • Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who was fired by Trump, could now go back on the table to be Biden's attorney general.

A big winner: Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her 2018 race for Georgia governor, galvanized Black voters and became the face of yesterday's massive Democratic turnout.

The big loser: Top Republicans blame Trump for sabotaging what should have been two easy wins — turning off suburban voters with his chaos and craziness, and sowing distrust of the Peach State election machinery with base voters.

Go deeper: Why AP declared Warnock the winner.

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

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U.S. declares China's actions against Uighurs "genocide"

With just one day left in President Trump's term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has officially determined that China's campaign of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of over 1 million Muslim minorities in Xinjiang constitutes "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."

Why it matters: The U.S. has become the first country to adopt these terms to describe the Chinese Communist Party's gross human rights abuses in its far northwest.

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Biden set to inherit Trump's TikTok conundrum

Donald Trump has one day left in the White House. TikTok has a lot longer left in the app stores, despite still being owned by China's ByteDance.

Why it matters: Trump's failure to force divestiture or eviction was more than just a blunder, or source of schadenfreude for the TikTok users who bedeviled his reelection campaign's event planners. It was part of a "talk loudly and carry a small stick" economic policy toward China that Joe Biden will inherit.

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Trump leaves behind legacy of targeted vitriol towards the press

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

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Despite burst of early policy moves, Biden's climate agenda will take years to fulfill

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

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Biden's inflation danger: Some economists sound alarm over stimulus plans

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

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CES was largely irrelevant this year

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

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The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.

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