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Andrew Harnik / AP

For all of the talk that this might finally be House Republicans' chance to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the big picture is that there's still a bitter divide within the party — though it's now separating the moderates from everyone else — and the whole effort is still wildly unpopular.

They're closer to the goal of fulfilling a campaign promise, but they're about to take a vote that will be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as abandoning sick people.

  • The new amendment by Rep. Tom MacArthur, a leader of the moderate Tuesday Group, has shifted the health care bill substantially to the right. It's not everything conservatives wanted on loosening the ACA's insurance mandates, but there's more in it for them than for moderates.
  • The endorsement of the conservative Freedom Caucus was big step forward for Republicans, since they were some of the main holdouts. That may be bringing Republicans closer to 216 votes. "Making progress," one leadership aide said last night.
  • But it's not bringing any moderate Republicans on board. It may even be losing some: Rep. Mike Coffman, a supporter of the original bill, is now undecided, according to multiple reports. (The Hill has a good whip list.)
  • A Friday vote is looking less likely now, but not impossible.
  • The Rules Committee posted the amendment text last night, along with another amendment to make sure Congress isn't exempted — cleaning up what would have been a huge political embarrassment. But as of this morning, the committee hadn't scheduled a meeting yet.
  • Moderates are mad at MacArthur for negotiating the deal and mad at the Freedom Caucus, who they think are trying to turn the spotlight to them. "It's an exercise in blame-shifting," Rep. Charlie Dent said, per the Washington Post.
  • They're not going to get a lot of sympathy from conservatives, who point out that the moderates ran on repealing the ACA.
  • If the House schedules a vote soon, it's not going to have any analysis from the Congressional Budget Office to look at. So it won't have any idea how many states might apply for waivers from the required benefits or the ban on charging higher rates to sick people, or how many people might be affected.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
19 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.

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