Lazaro Gamio / Axios

After scrapping their plan to hold a health-care vote this week, Senate Republican leaders' new goal is to get their party together around a new policy outline by Friday, so they can send that plan to the Congressional Budget Office over the July 4 recess and vote once they return.

Will it work? It's true that McConnell is a legislative MacGyver — always able to make something out of nothing at the last minute. And it helps that he has about $200 billion at his disposal to help bring more votes on board. And yes, this is almost exactly what happened in the House, so don't read too much into one canceled/postponed vote.

But none of the obstacles in McConnell's way have changed, or gotten any less severe: There is no natural point of consensus between those two camps; McConnell will have to manufacture one. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said yesterday she opposed the bill because it "cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply," while Rand Paul said the bill "is currently not real repeal."

And President Trump remains a wild card: House Republicans didn't feel particularly well backed up when Trump called their bill "mean," then went out of his way to confirm doing so.

  • The short-lived idea of attack ads against Sen. Dean Heller, paid for by Trump's outside political organization, also didn't help win hearts and minds in the Senate.
  • Shortly before senators headed over to the White house, a senior GOP aide told Caitlin Owens to expect a "full court press" from the Trump administration. Once they got there, this was President Trump's idea of a full court press: "This will be great if we get it done. And if we don't get it done, it's just going to be something that we're not going to like. And that's okay, and I understand that very well."

The bottom line: An administration official tells Jonathan Swan that Friday is still the goal, but Hill Republicans are skeptical. They know how Congress really works: When you don't get something done by one recess, the real deadline is the next recess.

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Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.

Wisconsin Democrats: Don't return absentee ballots by mail

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes after a Supreme Court decision on Monday prevented the state from extending its deadline for counting absentee ballots, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: 1,344,535 of the 1,706,771 Wisconsin voters who requested absentee ballots have returned them, according to the Times. The remaining 366,236 could prove critical in the battleground state, where President Trump won by a thin margin in 2016.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.