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AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Sens. Ron Johnson, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee made clear during a closed-door GOP meeting Tuesday that they're not ready to support the party's health care bill. One aide said the three threatened to vote no -- Johnson because of process concerns, Lee and Cruz because of policy concerns -- though other aides and lawmakers said the senators were vocally frustrated, but didn't go as far as making serious threats.

"I don't think a lot of people are at yes right now," Sen. John Thune said after the meeting. "I wouldn't characterize it as there were any, like, ultimatums. But there were concerns being voiced both with respect to substance and process, and that's kind of a natural part of the conversation. I mean, we're trying to work through both of those issues to get to, hopefully, a vote next week on a bill that we can all be for."

Why this matters: Details about the health care bill are finally starting to emerge, forcing senators to say where they stand — and many don't seem happy with what's being presented.

One aide who attended Wednesday's working-group meeting described it as "testy"; another said "there was a lot of brio in the room." The meeting focused on waivers from certain Affordable Care Act regulations, as well as other market reforms. The waivers wouldn't explicitly touch regulations protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and even those more limited waiver provisions will likely be removed from the bill next week if the Senate parliamentarian says they don't comply with the rules for the reconciliation process. Losing that part of the bill would be a big loss for conservatives.

"I don't think Sen Lee said anything he hasn't said before. Everyone knows he is not going to vote for a bill that he thinks is bad policy, but he did not make any new explicit 'threat,'" Lee spokesman Conn Carroll said.

One of the aides present at the meeting said Cruz "made it clear he wants to be yes and that his requests are pretty reasonable. Almost all GOP members would agree with him."Spokespeople for Johnson and Cruz did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.