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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A small group of Republican and Democratic senators met Monday night to discuss whether there's any path forward together on health care. While there was no firm conclusion, members emerged hopeful they'll meet again.

"What we're trying to do is get away from the partisanship that has made it very difficult to come up with solutions. And we're trying to get away from semantics, we're trying to get away from people…being locked into a party position and instead raise fundamental questions about how can we move forward in a way," Sen. Susan Collins, who spearheaded the meeting with Sen. Bill Cassidy, told reporters.

Why this matters: A bipartisan bill is still a long shot, but getting a handful of members of each party in the same room to have a civil discussion on health reform is a step not previously taken.

Cassidy and Collins told reporters around 10 members had shown up to the meeting, and more — including other Democrats — had been interested, but had scheduling conflicts.

Who was there: Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp. Republicans Cassidy, Collins, Shelley Moore Capito, Lindsey Graham and Dan Sullivan, among others.

What they said:

  • Manchin: "There was some good ideas thrown idea and talked about...There really is no Plan B. It's just, is anyone willing to push back on everybody and to say hey, can it be fixed or not?"
  • Heitkamp: "The [GOP] language is, 'This is spiraling out of control.' I don't believe that. but I also think that I came here to repair the health care law, and make it more workable, and that's my job."
  • Capito: "I think we're just talking about ideas…can the system do better?...nothing definitive, it was just an ideas session."
  • Cassidy: "Good ideas were offered by others," including Democrats.

Go deeper

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.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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