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."

Go deeper

Democrats on Trump tax story: "This is a national security question"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the New York Times report that President Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due within the next four years is a "national security question," and that the public has a "right to know" the details of his financial obligations.

The big picture: Democrats have already leapt on the Times' bombshell, which Trump has dismissed as "total fake news," to attack the president for allegedly paying less in federal income taxes than the average middle-class household.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Unsealed opinion: Trump TikTok ban likely overstepped legal authority

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A federal court judge on Sunday granted TikTok's request for a temporary restraining order against a ban by the Trump administration.

Driving the news: Judge Carl Nichols on Monday unsealed his opinion, in which he concluded that the ban seeks to regulate the exchange of "informational materials" — something that's expressly exempted from the law laying out the emergency powers Trump invoked.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 33,156,812 — Total deaths: 998,696 — Total recoveries: 22,961,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 7,118,523 — Total deaths: 204,790 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: The childless vaccine — Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections.
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases