NYAPRS Note: The latest from Politico
THE STATE OF GRAHAM-CASSIDY — Republican leaders continue to whip support for the last-ditch Obamacare repeal plan, which keeps gaining momentum — and looks increasingly likely by the day.
And the deck's been cleared for Republicans to focus, once again, on repeal: Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Tuesday night announced that the bipartisan push to craft ACA fixes with ranking member Sen. Patty Murray is over. The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan made clear that they opposed a bipartisan deal.
— Informal Graham-Cassidy whip count: Still short. POLITICO's Jen Haberkorn files this dispatch with an update on key senators
—Sen. John McCain: Repeatedly told reporters on Tuesday that he had nothing to say in response to Graham-Cassidy questions
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski: Dodged reporters
—Sen. Susan Collins: Still viewed as a "no," but she hasn't staked out an official position
—Sen. Rand Paul: Still a hard "no."
—Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and many other Republican senators: Still reading it
— What's next: Co-sponsor Lindsey Graham says he'll continue to lobby his targets —and Paul doesn't appear to be one of them. "I don't think I'm going to get Senator Paul," Graham said.
But he is working on the Republican from Alaska who voted no on the "skinny" repeal bill.
"I think Lisa Murkowksi is going to look long and hard at what is best for Alaska and the country," Graham said, stressing that his legislation is different than the last repeal bills. "She's voted to repeal [Obamacare]. She's going to have to look at what best for Alaska, best for the country, understanding that a bipartisan alternative doesn't exist."
— Countdown until reconciliation runs out: 10 days.
HOW DEMOCRATS ARE DEALING — They're weighing whether they have enough procedural tricks — and stamina — to kill a possible GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare, Jen writes.
One strategy under consideration: whether they could force enough amendment votes on the Senate floor to run out the clock by taking debate past Sept. 30, when reconciliation expires.
Democrats would have to stay awake to continue offering — and voting — on amendments for several days, or until the deadline passes. But some Democrats say they have to try it. "It is a bill that reforms one-fifth of the American economy, in which senators have no opportunity to debate or amend until vote-a-rama," said Sen. Chris Murphy