Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A major misconception on Capitol Hill right now is the notion that Mick Mulvaney is behind President Trump's decision to back a lawsuit to demolish the Affordable Care Act.

After a week of talking to sources who've discussed the matter privately with Trump, it's clear that this health care push is coming from the president himself. These people say Trump thinks it's a great idea to try to brand the GOP as "the party of health care” by backing the controversial litigation and pushing for legislative change.

Behind the scenes: Trump has privately said he thinks the lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act will probably fail in the courts, according to two sources who discussed the matter with the president last week.

  • Trump's view is that Democrats are going to bash him up on health care in 2020 regardless, so ignoring the issue won’t work.
  • He says he wants to "brand" himself and the Republican Party as caring about health care and pre-existing conditions. He plans to repeat this message again and again and again.
  • Trump has asked Republicans to come up with a replacement plan, even though nobody thinks they've got a chance of passing anything through this divided Congress. On top of that, Republicans had 8 years to come up with an Affordable Care Act replacement and couldn't do it.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 32,390,204 — Total deaths: 985,302 — Total recoveries: 22,286,345Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m ET: 7,020,967 — Total deaths: 203,481 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,476,600Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

White House pushes to uphold TikTok ban

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday filed legal opposition to TikTok's request to delay a ban on downloading the app, with a federal judge in Washington scheduling a hearing on the request for Sunday morning.

Why it matters: The White House could have simply postponed the ban on its own for another week or two, as it did last Friday. This move suggests it's seeking to use the ban as leverage in ongoing negotiations.