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AP file photo

House GOP leaders tried to assure everyone Obamacare repeal is in fine shape at their press conference Tuesday morning. This followed a House Freedom Caucus vote the night before to oppose anything less aggressive than the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill, setting up a possible clash with other Republicans who don't want to repeal the law without a replacement.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden hinted the leadership might be willing to cave to conservatives' repeal-first demands: "I think you're going to see us come forward with a replacement bill after we repeal that makes sure that people have access to affordable health care for the first time." But a senior GOP aide told me late Monday night that the leadership is moving "full steam" ahead on including replacement in the repeal bill.

"We're on track. Our committees are going to work," Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said, a line echoed in one form or another by the committee chairs and other members of leadership at the press conference.

GOP leaders announced at the conference meeting Tuesday morning that House Republicans will hold a policy planning meeting Thursday to continue the the discussion about the repeal and replacement plans, according to a source in the room. Majority Whip Steve Scalise will also be holding member meetings on progress throughout the week.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.