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Evan Vucci / AP

Everyone is making calls — based on calculations of who's got the most leverage with certain senators down to personal relationships. President Trump, Vice President Pence, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and officials including White House Legislative Affairs director Mark Short and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are working the phones.

On Tuesday night the Vice President hosted a small group of very conservative senators for dinner at his residence. Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, Tom Cotton, and Ben Sasse were there. I asked a source familiar with the dinner why Toomey was there given he supported the bill, and the source told me it was wise to bring together colleagues of a similar ideological persuasion who'd come to different conclusions about the health bill.

At the Capitol, Axios' David Nather and Caitlin Owens hear only pessimism. At the White House, we hear a more optimistic read.

Nobody I've spoken to is confident about getting anything sorted by Friday. They view the real deadline as the next recess.

  • Mitch McConnell is in the offer-making phase. In crude terms: he's got a couple hundred billion dollars to play with and he's trying to buy off moderate Republican senators with money to fight Opioid addiction and to help out vulnerable constituents affected by the new health care plan.
  • The way the White House is thinking about the path to success remains the same: short-term money for moderates and long-term reforms for conservatives.
  • There are plenty of doomsayers, but on the inside — both inside the administration and in senior Senate offices — I'm finding a number of officials who've been skeptical all along are now quietly predicting it's going to happen.
  • Best encapsulation of the White Hat (optimist) thinking, from an administration source: "I think we're going to pass this. I really think they'll bribe off the moderates with opioid money and then actually move policy to shore up Mike Lee and Ted Cruz. ... If it was going to fail, McConnell would've put it on the floor. He wants people on the record — put up or shut up. He would've said: 'F--- it, let's fail now and move onto tax reform.' ... Now he's going to eat up another two weeks of floor time. He's not going to waste those weeks unless he thinks he can do this."
  • Best encapsulation of the Black Hat (pessimist) thinking, from a Republican close to Senate leadership: "I think the gap is too wide and they are getting zero help from POTUS."

Bottom line, from same source: "Unpopular presidents pushing unpopular proposals usually fail."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.

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