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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The details of the Senate GOP plan are beginning to emerge, although everyone is still pretty confused. But the gist is that if Republicans have the 50 votes necessary to get on the bill, they'll vote on both the replacement plan they've been working on and their partial repeal plan — both of which are expected to fail — and then have to trust McConnell for whatever comes next.

The plan, according to two senior GOP Senate aides:

  1. Take the vote on the motion to proceed, which would begin debate on the House-passed bill. It's unclear whether this has 50 votes. If it doesn't, this is where the plan ends.
  2. If the motion to proceed passes, vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act — the leading replacement plan. Here's where things get murky: Sen. Rob Portman has struck a deal that would add $100 billion to the bill's stabilization fund. It would pair with Sen. Cruz's consumer-freedom amendment, which allows insurers selling ACA-compliant plans to also sell non-compliant plans. But a vote on that agreement would be subject to a 60-vote threshold because it hasn't been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office. That means it'll fail.
  3. Then would come the vote on an updated version of 2015 straight-repeal bill. This is also expected to fail. (The way leadership is structuring the vote procedurally, this would technically be the first amendment voted on — likely as a nod to Sen. Rand Paul — even though BCRA would be on the table first.)
  4. If votes on the 2015 bill and BCRA both fail, all votes are to amend the House bill. It's unclear what these votes will be, but Democrats are sure to make Republicans take some painful ones.
  5. No one knows what the final bill will be, "because we don't have a product that 50 senators agree to," one of aides said. No one will see a final product before the vote on the motion to proceed tomorrow, unless something is being drafted overnight, the aide added. "This is a leap of faith in [Majority Leader Mitch [McConnell. We have no idea what the final product will be."The second aide added that "the ultimate goal is to get to conference where there would be more time to work out some of the issues and get scores on these items."

But things are in flux. "Everybody is kind of all over the place on what they think they've heard as far as procedure and ordering of amendments," the second aide said. "It's like we all agree that Portman, Cruz, and repeal all get votes, but the process has everybody scratching their heads."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

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