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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

House Republican leaders revealed their plan this morning for bringing Obamacare repeal back to life: Keep talking about it until they get more votes. "We all share these goals, and we're just going to have to figure out how to get it done," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after a meeting with the GOP conference. He said that "some of those who were in the no camp expressed a willingness to keep talking." House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he came out of the meeting with "more confidence than ever that we will get it done."

Between the lines: Their comments confirmed that this is mostly an exercise in showing their supporters that they're not giving up — and maybe giving conservative or moderate holdouts some time to reconsider their position. Ryan said he would still want to use the budget reconciliation bill as the vehicle, but wouldn't commit to a timeline, "because we want to get it right."

The Senate shrugs: "If they get 216 votes, that's great, we'll take it up over here," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told Caitlin Owens.

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Congress grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday voted to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the path to confirmation for President Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

McConnell proposes February impeachment trial

Sen. Mitch McConnell Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is proposing that the impeachment trial of former President Trump begin in mid-February to allow for "due process."

Why it matters: The impeachment trial is likely to grind other Senate business to a halt, including the confirmation process for President Biden's Cabinet nominees.