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Evan Vucci / AP

Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price pushed back this afternoon on the recommendation from President Trump's opioids commission that a national emergency should be declared to deal with the crisis. At a briefing in Bedminster, N.J., Price told reporters that the White House believes it "can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency, though all things are on the table for the president."

Think back: The commission, chaired by Chris Christie, recommended in its interim report last week that the White House declare a national emergency to facilitate a response.

Why it matters: Neither President Trump — nor Price or Kellyanne Conway, who briefed reporters this afternoon — laid out concrete steps to respond to the crisis, though they emphasized that the administration was taking it very seriously.

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.

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