Rick Bowmer / AP

Sen. Mike Lee won't vote for the Senate GOP health care bill without the addition of a controversial amendment he's championing with Sen. Ted Cruz — a position he has made clear to the White House and Senate Republican leaders.

"The entire bill is unacceptable without the Consumer Freedom Option," Conn Carroll, Lee's spokesman, wrote in an email. This proposal would allow insurers to sell health plans that don't comply with Affordable Care Act rules, like pre-existing conditions protections or essential health benefits, as long as they also sell plans that meet all of those rules. Critics from both parties say this could make it harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage.

Why this matters: Saying he'll vote no without the conservative amendment is a harder line than just saying "the bill can be improved" (the line Cruz has been taking). But moderates are worried about both the policy and politics of potentially making coverage unaffordable for sick people, and senior GOP aides say touching pre-existing conditions protections will automatically sink the bill.

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The fight over fracking

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Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.