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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

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

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

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he immediately began selling in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.

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