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AP file photo

As conservatives pressure moderates to accept Trumpcare changes that would swing the bill to the right, some moderates are moving on to a new plan: Bipartisanship. As in, trying to create a coalition with moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats that could actually get something done.

Rep. Charlie Dent, a co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group, told Axios he thinks the best approach is to work from the center out: "If we attempt to muscle this thing through on a partisan basis, I feel we'll have a similar result" to Obamacare, which is that "the reform won't be durable." He's already talking to some Democrats, who "understand there need to be, at the very least, some very significant repairs made."

Outside of Congress, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is trying to do the same thing. A Kasich aide told us he has spoken both with Dent and Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose office confirmed the two governors spoke on the phone about looking for common ground on health care.

  • About those conservatives and their ads: Dent is dismissive of the pressure to support a repeal bill that would get rid of Obamacare's insurance rules. "You got all these groups out there and they're engaged in face-saving efforts. They all came out against the bill and now they're trying to change the narrative," he said.
  • Time to move on: Dent said that getting Democrats to the table is unlikely if the current House Obamacare replacement bill is the vehicle Republicans continue to work with. Instead, he said, they'll need to start over.
  • Areas of agreement: There are members of both parties that dislike Obamacare's Cadillac tax on expensive employer benefits and its medical device tax, Dent said. There's also agreement something needs to be done to fix the individual insurance market. (Of course, figuring out what that something is will be the tough part.)

Go deeper

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.

The walls close in on Trump

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

With Bill Barr's "Et tu, Brute!" interview with AP, President Trump is watching the walls close in on his claims of fraud, hoaxes and conspiracies.

Why it matters: Trump and his legal team continue to claim election fraud. But the Republican governors of Arizona and Georgia have certified their elections, a loyalist like Barr has weighed in, and lower-ranking officials have taken potshots.

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

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