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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

This is the fifth election cycle since the Affordable Care Act became law — and as Republicans try to build on their razor-thin Senate majority, some dreams will never die. Sen. Thom Tillis told Politico that the GOP could "get health care done" with 53 members while Democrats are itching to introduce "Medicare for All" legislation if they win the House, per The Hill.

Reality check: Neither of these initiatives is likely to happen before 2021 at the absolute earliest. And with the parties already so far apart and already looking ahead to 2020, not much else is likely to happen until then, either.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.