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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

This is the week we'll learn whether Mitch McConnell can pull a rabbit out of a hat. His challenge: Tweak his health care bill enough to win over wavering moderates — including Susan Collins, Lisa Murkoswki — without losing any more conservatives on top of Rand Paul.

It won't be easy. Some of the things each camp wants are in direct conflict: Some of the moderates want to ease off the bill's Medicaid cuts; that could draw new conservative opponents out of the woodwork. Collins wants to strip anti-Planned Parenthood language; Ted Cruz and Mike Lee wouldn't like that.

What to expect this week, per Jonathan Swan and Caitlin Owens:

  • CBO score, along with a very slightly modified version of the bill, will likely be released today.
  • Final bill, reflecting any more last-minute horse-trading likely released on Wednesday.
  • Vote to proceed to the bill is also likely on Wednesday. If McConnell hasn't lined up 50 votes on the bill itself, there's a chance the procedural vote could fail, and it'd be a shorter week than we thought.
  • But, assuming the vote to proceed is successful, a vote-a-rama on the Senate floor looks like it'll begin sometime Thursday.
  • With 20 hours of debate, that could push the final vote into the late night or early morning, if not into the weekend (depending on how things shake out earlier in the week).

Who to watch: Mike Allen's sources rank the likeliest defections in this order: Collins, Paul, Lee, Dean Heller, Murkowski, Cory Gardner, Ron Johnson, Cruz.

It all depends how McConnell tries to win over each of those votes. Back too far off the bill's Medicaid cuts in an effort appease Heller or Shelley Moore Capito, and he'd risk bringing Tom Cotton into the "questionable" column. Giving Cruz and Lee too much on social issues would make Collins and Murkowski less likely to go along at the end of the day (and vice versa).

"It really is a 747 landing on a suburban driveway," former McConnell chief of staff Josh Holmes told Swan.

Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.