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Susan Walsh / AP

Trump's team is doing its utmost to sell Mark Meadows on its Obamacare replacement bill, but the Freedom Caucus leader ain't buying it.

Here's what Meadows told Axios early Monday evening:

After investing hours and hours and hours of trying to find common ground between our moderate members and conservative members, and believing, because of the White House's engagement in the process, that we could find common ground; I've now reached a conclusion that our leadership is going to put forth a bill that does not address any of the concerns in a meaningful way and will dare us to vote against it.

Why this matters: If the White House loses most of the Freedom Caucus members they can't pass this bill. Meadows was only speaking for himself tonight, but his is a voice to move votes. The caucus will meet tonight, and whether to collectively oppose the bill or not will certainly be discussed.

What Meadows says he needs to get to "yes": He wants Obamacare's market reforms and regulations repealed, including the list of health benefits insurers are required to cover. He says repealing these is "the only thing that will drive down prices." The rest of the problems, like issues with the bill's tax credits, he called "negotiable items that make the bill either more conservative or more moderate."

But leadership says these Obamacare pieces can't be included in budget reconciliation, the method being used to pass the bill, per Senate rules.

Can Bannon help? The administration is working hard to win over Meadows. He was invited to Mar-a-Lago over the weekend and he's in regular touch with Steve Bannon. Politico wrote a smart piece on a recent behind-the-scenes meeting between Bannon and Meadows, but their relationship goes much deeper than that. They text regularly and have the 90-second phone calls familiar to all who interact with Bannon.

Bottom line: Meadows will always listen to Trump and Bannon, but three days out from when leadership wants to put the bill on the floor, he's a solid "no."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
29 mins ago - Economy & Business

The great venture capital resignation

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A growing number of top VCs are calling it quits, long before typical retirement age.

Between the lines: Generational turnover isn't new for venture capital, but in the past it's been born of lean times. What we're seeing now is the byproduct of unprecedented success.

Top economic regulators stressed by vacancies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The boom times are all around us (from corporate deal sprees to the breakneck rise of cryptocurrency) — and the agencies in charge are stretched thin trying to police it.

Why it matters: Overwhelmed staff and a slew of vacant posts could set back President Biden's big regulatory agenda.

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley announces run for re-election

Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced on Friday that he's running for re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: The GOP is looking to regain control of both chambers of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. Several Republicans had urged the 88-year-old senator to run to avoid another retirement after five incumbent senators said they wouldn't seek re-election.