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AP file photo

Sen. Ted Cruz says he hasn't given up on the Senate health care bill. He already released a statement with three other Republicans saying they're "not ready to vote for" the draft bill. But in a separate statement, Cruz says he wants to help make "real improvements" so it "provides the relief from Obamacare that Republicans have repeatedly promised the last seven years" — especially in reducing health insurance premiums.

What he wants: He'd give consumers "the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored for their individual healthcare needs." He also wants more flexibility for Medicaid, the ability to buy health insurance across state lines, expanded health savings accounts, and medical liability reform.

Between the lines: Cruz is hinting that he wants to be a dealmaker: "I want to get to yes, but this first draft doesn't get the job done." And Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's allies consider him an easier negotiating partner than the other conservatives, including Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul. The catch is that even though most of his ideas have broad support among Republicans, not all of it can be done under Senate budget rules.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.