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Forget Trumpcare 2.0, moderates want to try bipartisanship

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.)
Steve LeVine 11 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

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Trump, Sessions & GOP lawmakers to meet about sanctuary cities

Jeff Sessions claps behind Donald Trump's blurry profile at a speech
Attorney General Jeff Sesssions, Donald Trump, Melania Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty

The White House is hosting a roundtable on sanctuary cities Tuesday afternoon with the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican lawmakers and others, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Conservatives tried to use this week’s massive government spending bill to cut federal funds from sanctuary cities, but they failed, according to sources involved in the process. But Trump officials want to use Tuesday’s event to highlight the issue and put pressure on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law enforcement.