Senate Republicans don't just have to write a "skinny repeal" bill that can get at least 50 Republicans. They also have to write one that meets their savings targets under budget "reconciliation" rules — and they're not there yet, as of this morning. The Congressional Budget Office estimates released yesterday suggest that the bill, at least as originally described, could be as much as $55 billion short of the savings target, according to Loren Adler, a budget expert at the Brookings Institution.

  • They need: $133 billion over 10 years in "on budget" savings
  • They have: $78 billion
  • At risk: Medical device tax repeal, possible addition of opioid treatment money

Why it matters: That's likely a major reason we haven't seen a bill yet, with the Senate "vote-a-rama" scheduled to start tonight. Two Senate GOP aides suggested that Republicans are still working on it, but that it won't be a major problem. One said the issues are "nothing that can't be easily tweaked." Another said simply: "We will hit the target."

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26 mins ago - Technology

Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.