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Rick Bowmer/AP

You've probably seen the viral video of a Florida GOP official getting shouted down this weekend at a town hall meeting after trying to revive the old, false rumor about Obamacare "death panels." (Here's what I wrote about it on Saturday.) There's been a lot of pro-Obamacare eruptions at Republican town halls lately, so here's what we're learning from them:

  • Republicans don't have a lot of ready answers when they're asked how sick people will get health coverage if Obamacare is repealed. "That issue will have to be addressed in some form or manner, but it hasn't been addressed yet," Rep. James Sensenbrenner said at a town hall meeting in Wisconsin on Saturday.
  • The Florida Republican official who made the false "death panels" claim has a history of spreading conspiracy theories and racist jokes, per the Washington Post's David Weigel, so don't take him as evidence that mainstream Republicans are reviving the claim.
  • But Rep. Gus Bilirakis did try to support him by saying he meant the Independent Payment Advisory Board, CNN's Eric Bradner reports.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan has called it a "rationing board," and that line of attack is still in mainstream use, even though law specifically says the board can't ration health care. Bilirakis has written that the board's payment cuts could cause "de facto rationing."
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz didn't do himself any favors by suggesting the protesters at his town hall last week were paid, without presenting any evidence.
  • That said, it's not as if there's no organizing to generate a big turnout. Liberal volunteers are spreading the dates and locations of future town halls through activities like the Town Hall Project.
  • Republicans will have to get ready for many more of these eruptions — because the House and Senate will be on recess next week, and there will be more town halls and "office hours" throughout that week.

Go deeper

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

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