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Carolyn Kaster/AP

That's going to be the key to whether Republicans can bring their factions together to actually pass a repeal bill. They're not going to get a lot of their members with a straight repeal and no replacement, and House Speaker Paul Ryan is still pitching his "Better Way" plan as the template for their replacement goals.

But the Freedom Caucus and other hardliners are making it clear they don't want to pass anything that could be seen as "Obamacare Lite," as Rep. Raul Labrador put it yesterday. Outside conservative groups have been warning about that too. They don't want Republicans to try to measure their replacement by Democrats' goals, including trying to cover as many people, because they don't think Republicans will ever beat Democrats at that.

Key quote: " If we're just going to come back with something that does the same thing, but changes a couple of things and we just call it TrumpCare or RyanCare, then what was our fight about for the last six years?" — Labrador

Yes, but: Not everyone in Republican circles is sweating it. "We're doing the same repeal we did last time and adding as much replace as possible, which is what everyone says they want," one senior GOP aide told me. And don't forget, the conservatives have every incentive to push for "repeal first" as much as they can — but no Republican has any incentive to let the whole effort fall apart.

Go deeper

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

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