Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

With the Senate aiming for a tax vote late this week, White House and Senate aides express constant behind-the-scenes concern about three senators who are (a) worried about the deficit, (b) wholly unbeholden to leadership and (c) relish the opportunity to snub President Trump.

  • Sens. John McCain, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake all despise Trump, and aren't likely to face voters again.

Senate leaders recently added a new name to the problem list: Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. He hasn't gone public with his concerns, but is withholding his support for the bill because he believes it favors corporations over other types of businesses.

Other holdouts who are being lobbied: Susan Collins (Maine) and Ron Johnson (Wis.). Collins has constituents who love it when she bucks the party line.WashPo just posted a good piece on changes being considered to win over holdouts.Why it matters: Lose any three of those six — and several could move together — and tax cuts are dead.The bottom line: GOP leaders hoped to lock all of these folks down before Thanksgiving. But that didn't work: Leadership doesn't yet have 50 votes.But, but, but: Even my most pessimistic sources tell me they think the political urgency to get something done will override the concerns of the holdouts.The consensus view is that Collins wants to get to yes, and Daines could help Johnson get on board, since they have similar concerns.Worth noting: No Republican seems to care about the tax package's miserable polling. Why not? A senior administration official summed it up in a text message (using Axios style):"Can't go into election next year with 'accomplishments' only being:Kept ObamacareFixed DACARaised debt ceilingIncreased spending via a partially paid-for sequestration budget cap deal."

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42 mins ago - World

China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

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China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.

Roger Stone says he plans to campaign for Trump

Roger Stone appears yesterday outside his home in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Roger Stone told Axios in a phone interview that he plans to write and speak for President Trump's re-election now that Stone "won't die in a squalid hellhole of corona-19 virus."

"I'm asthmatic," said Stone, 67. "Sending me to a prison where I could not be socially distanced ... would, I think, be a death sentence."

Facebook's plan: Make nice, but don't give in

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook last week took steadily intensifying heat from fleeing advertisers and boycott leaders and received a big thumbs-down from its own civil-rights auditors. Its response, essentially: We hear you, but we'll carry on.

The big picture: Early on in Facebook's rise, CEO Mark Zuckerberg learned to handle external challenges by offering limited concessions and soothing words, then charging forward without making fundamental changes.