Jun 27, 2017

Senate GOP isn't backing down from health care vote

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Republican leaders appear ready to go ahead with tomorrow's procedural vote on the health care bill, even though they don't have the votes right now to even start debate on the bill.

  • The vote to take up the bill would happen "tomorrow sometime," Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters this afternoon. He didn't leave any room for the possibility that the leadership might cancel the vote if they think it's going to fail.
  • Why it matters: There are at least five Republicans who may be ready to vote against the motion, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two. If he (or President Trump) can't get them back into the fold, tomorrow's vote could end the Senate's Affordable Care Act repeal effort.
  • Between the lines: That wouldn't necessarily be the worst outcome for McConnell. As much as Republicans want to get rid of the health care law, McConnell's allies have been saying for weeks that he's ready to just put senators on the record and move on to tax reform. He doesn't think a delay in the vote will make it more likely to pass.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to new countries, while U.S. confirms 57 cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — an increase they had expected after the passengers were allowed to return home from Japan against their initial advice.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There's only been two cases of person-to-person infections in the U.S. so far, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now warning that Americans should prepare for a much broader outbreak here.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 57 mins ago - Health

Space tourism gets ready for launch

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Multiple space tourism companies are aiming to send their first customers to the edge of space before the end of this year.

Why it matters: Right now, most revenue in the space industry is tied up in government contracts, but experts say the maturing industry will need tourism to grow into the $1 trillion economy some predict it could be.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Science