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Jack Gruber / AP

  • There was an effort yesterday to get House GOP conservatives — the House Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee — to meet with GOP moderates — the Tuesday Group — to talk about a path forward after last week's failed health care effort.
  • It ended up deteriorating into blame-shifting and recriminations.
  • The Tuesday Group met yesterday, and a Tuesday Group source said there were "fireworks at the meeting," with members resentful at being told to sit down with the Freedom Caucus.
  • There was supposed to be a meeting between the 3 groups later in the day, but it never happened.
  • A Tuesday Group source denied a meeting between the 3 groups was ever agreed to. But there were discussions between the 3 groups to have a meeting to hash it out, and a Freedom Caucus source believes the group reneged on the deal.
  • A spokesperson for the HFC did not return a request for comment.

From a well-placed House source:

"The underlying member angst can be put it in at least two categories: (1) suspicion and concerns about blame game; (2) authorizers who got pulled through tough markups upset that bill changes are being discussed among members without authorizers in the room."

From a White House source:

"Welcome to my life the last two weeks. This was never about policy. This was about people wanting to oppose each other and it's such a divided conference at the moment it's hard to get things done. We were the ones caught in the crossfire."

Go deeper

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting aspects of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."