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Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told President Trump on Wednesday he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

The backstory: Inhofe leveled with Trump — over speakerphone while walking through the Senate's Russell Building — that the bill won't meet his demand to repeal liability protections for tech companies, or block efforts to re-title military bases named for Confederate figures.

  • The White House declined to comment. Inhofe's office did not respond to a request for comment.

What we're hearing: Inhofe, who is leading negotiations on the National Defense Authorization Act as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, addressed "Mr. President" before making his "only chance" comment during a midday call.

  • The source could not help but overhear the conversation due to the speakerphone's volume.

The backdrop: Many Republican lawmakers tell Axios that while the tech liability element, Section 230, needs to be reformed, it doesn't make sense to tie unrelated language to the NDAA.

  • Inhofe told reporters as much on Wednesday, but said the provision “has nothing to do with the military."
  • “You can’t do it in this bill,” Inhofe said, adding that he has relayed this to Trump.
  • Many also believe they have the votes to override a presidential veto, if necessary.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) quote tweeted Trump's veto threats earlier today and wrote: "I will vote to override. Because it’s really not about you."

The bottom line: Members from both parties are eager to get this legislation passed so they can move onto a government spending bill, due by Dec. 11, and delivering coronavirus relief.

Go deeper

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 36 mins ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.