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Andrew Harnik / AP

White House policy chief Marc Short said Wednesday that the Trump administration is confident they can pass the health bill, and that they are fully committed to repealing and replacing the ACA. He then proceeded to call the GOP holdouts' bluff, "If you're saying that you're not willing to move to the bill... then all of the campaign promises that you made were hollow." HIghlights from the off-camera briefing:

Marc Short:

  • What does Trump want? "His preference is the Senate bill as it is constructed right now," said Short, adding that Trump will not give up if the health bill doesn't pass next week.
  • Timing: "The president encouraged Senators to not leave town until a health care bill is presented to him."
  • Will Trump not support Senators who don't support the bill? "There's not a sense of a veiled threat. The president is pretty direct in his words."
  • On Graham/Durbin DREAM Act: "I think the administration has opposed the DREAM Act and would likely be consistent on that."

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

  • Second Trump-Putin meeting at the G20: "Once again the Russia fever has caught up with the media and everyone ran out and tried to create a story," said Sanders, adding that it's absurd to suggest it was some kind of secret."
  • Length of Trump-Putin meeting: "We weren't following them around with a stop watch. It was a brief conversation and certainly not an hour."
  • Does tax reform have to come after health care? "I don't think it has to wait but that's certainly the preference."
  • Voter fraud commission is based on fact finding: Trump's statement that "millions" voted illegally last year is "an opinion".
  • NAFTA: "Meetings to renegotiate NAFTA will take place in Washington from August 16th-20th."

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.