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Evan Vucci / AP

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told me minutes after House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act that he gives the most credit for shepherding the revised bill through the house to Mike Pence.

Like other well-funded conservative groups including Club for Growth and Heritage, Phillips' group (the grassroots wing of the Koch Brothers' network), fought the original bill proposed by the White House and Republican leadership.

Turning point: "Just before Easter break when Vice President Pence began floating the compromise language on an opt out waiver for states," Phillips says. "He relentlessly worked the phones and did individual meetings with members, especially the conservative members in the Freedom Caucus and outside groups."

The nervous stretch: For a nervous couple weeks there was no legislative language, only a concept. "Normally, everything would stop right there because you don't trust people in this business," Phillips says. "But most members, and certainly outside groups, trusted Mike Pence. They were willing to say 'let's talk and we are interested even though you don't have language.'"

Why the trust? Phillips says it's because Pence himself took so many Freedom Caucus-style votes when he was a member of the House in the early 2000s — votes that resonate with today's ultra conservative members: bucking Karl Rove and Tom DeLay on No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D.

What Mark Meadows says: "At the end of the day, it was the personal involvement of the President and Vice President which allowed every member to start to share that trust."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

5 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.