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

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.