Good Monday morning and happy first day of May. SPOTTED — Trump National Economic Adviser Gary Cohn and Ways and Means Republicans Sunday at Agua 301 on the Southeast Waterfront. Republicans are in town for a two-day tax reform retreat.
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THE WEEK is starting off on a good note for Republicans. Congress reached a budget deal through the end of September, staving off a potentially dramatic couple of weeks and more talk of a shutdown. And, House Republicans look potentially poised to vote on their health care bill before they head out of town Thursday for a one-week recess. While Republicans are projecting confidence, it’s unclear whether they’ve been able to convince enough moderates to back the package.
IF, AND IT IS A BIG IF, Congress is able to clear the funding fight and House Republicans pass the health care bill, the Senate could get started on it. And then — and only then — Republicans could begin to discuss tax reform.
BUT — It’s always important to remember: in Trump’s Washington, things could be turned upside down quickly.
WE’VE GOT A DEAL — “Budget deal reached in Congress,” by Burgess Everett, John Bresnahan, and Sarah Ferris: “Congressional leaders have reached a government funding agreement through the end of September, according to several congressional aides familiar with the matter. The deal delivers $15 billion in new defense spending to fight terrorism, with $2.5 billion of that contingent on President Donald Trump presenting a strategy to defeat the Islamic State to Congress, the aides said. It also distributes $1.5 billion in new border security spending, though it does not allocate any new money to a Southern border wall with Mexico despite President Donald Trump’s insistence.” http://politi.co/2oOsm5A
— THE WINNERS: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and other Appalachian senators for getting permanent health insurance for coal miners. Former President Barack Obama for the $2 billion in new funds for the NIH and Obama’s cancer moonshot.
— DEMS 1, TRUMP 0: Trump got very little of what he wanted. He got no money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and roughly half the extra military funding he wanted.
— WHAT THIS MEANS: This bill will likely fly through Congress this week, which will ratchet up pressure on Republicans to get an Obamacare repeal through.
WHERE THINGS STAND ON HEALTH CARE — “GOP faces make-or-break moment on Obamacare repeal,” by Rachael Bade, John Bresnahan, and Kyle Cheney: “House Republican leaders and White House officials are increasingly confident about passing their long-stalled Obamacare replacement bill: More lawmakers than ever are committed to voting ‘yes,’ they say, and GOP insiders insist they’re within striking distance of a majority. But the window of opportunity for Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team is closing fast. The House is scheduled to leave town for a one-week recess on Thursday, and some senior Republicans worry that failing to get it done by then would fritter away critical momentum.
“Skittish Republicans would return home to face a barrage of pressure from Democrats and progressive outside groups. Some senior Republicans and White House officials are advising Ryan (R-Wis.) and his top lieutenants to cancel the recess if needed, and to keep the House in session until they have the votes.” http://politi.co/2oXe3Xr
VOX’S TAKE — “An interview suggests Trump doesn’t know what’s in his health bill: Either the president doesn’t understand the proposal — or isn’t telling the truth about it,” by Sarah Kliff: John “Dickerson is the first journalist I have seen grill Trump on what, exactly, is in the Republican plan. He isn’t asking about the politics of the bill and whether it will pass. Rather, he focuses on what are arguably basic questions: what elements are in this bill, and what do you think of them?
“Trump stumbles. He says that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected. Under the latest amendment to the American Health Care Act — the one that got the Freedom Caucus on board — they won’t be. …
“The health care plan that Trump described on Face the Nation is not the one that the Republican party has offered. His answers suggest an unfamiliarity with basic policy details of a plan that has been public for nearly six weeks at this point — a plan that his administration has pushed Congress to pass.” http://bit.ly/2p09s7V
— THE NARRATIVE that Trump doesn’t understand the details of the health care bill is taking hold. NYT: “Pushing for Vote on Health Care Bill, Trump Seems Unclear on Its Details” http://nyti.ms/2px2zMc
NYT, A1 — “Trump’s ‘Very Friendly’ Talk With Duterte Stuns Aides and Critics Alike,” by Mark Landler: “When President Trump called President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Saturday, White House officials saw it as part of a routine diplomatic outreach to Southeast Asian leaders. Mr. Trump, characteristically, had his own ideas.
“During their ‘very friendly conversation,’ the administration said in a late-night statement, Mr. Trump invited Mr. Duterte, an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, to visit him at the White House. Now, the administration is bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two senior officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally. …
“Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Twitter, ‘We are watching in real time as the American human rights bully pulpit disintegrates into ash.’” http://nyti.ms/2pyUhpt
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RETIREMENT WATCH — First it was Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Now, it’s Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Florida Republican, who is the state’s longest serving member of Congress, will step down at the end of the 115th Congress.
— MARC CAPUTO on Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement: “Ros-Lehtinen denied that her retirement had anything to do with her differences with President Donald Trump. She has long opposed Trump’s position on illegal immigration, didn’t support his recent Obamacare repeal effort and disagreed with his administration’s policies on transgender rights. Ros-Lehtinen has a transgender child.
“In leaving Florida’s newly drawn 27th Congressional District, Ros-Lehtinen almost assured the Democrats will pick up her seat. No Republican-held House district gave Trump a lower share of the vote in 2016 than Ros-Lehtinen’s. Trump got just 39 percent of the vote in the district, while Hillary Clinton got more than 58 percent – more than 5 points better than Barack Obama in 2012, even as Florida shifted into the Republican column in 2016.” http://politi.co/2qkueTH
— OUR SOURCES have been telling us for weeks that there are several GOP House members considering retirement. The reasons for wanting to leave Congress run the gamut from nothing getting done to wanting to cash out to not wanting to have to defend Trump on the campaign trail.
PALACE INTRIGUE — “Trump starts dismantling his shadow Cabinet,” by Michael Grunwald, Andrew Restuccia and Josh Dawsey: “The White House is quietly starting to pull the plug on its shadow Cabinet of Trump loyalists who had been dispatched to federal agencies to serve as the president’s eyes and ears. These White House-installed chaperones have often clashed with the Cabinet secretaries they were assigned to monitor, according to sources across the agencies, with the secretaries expressing frustration that the so-called ‘senior White House advisers’ are mostly young Trump campaign aides with little experience in government.
“The tensions have escalated for weeks, prompting a recent meeting among Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and other administration officials, according to two sources familiar with the meeting. Now, some of the advisers are being reassigned or simply eased out, the sources said, even though many of them had expected to be central players at their agencies for the long haul. The tumult underscores the growing pains that are still being felt throughout Trump’s government, more than 100 days into his term. ‘These guys are being set up for failure,’ said one administration source. ‘They’re not D.C. guys. They’re campaign people. They have no idea how government works.’” http://politi.co/2pwVJq1
DICKERSON AND TRUMP PART II — DICKERSON: “You said you were disappointed in the Republicans in Congress. Why?” TRUMP: “Well, disappointed. They’re friends of mine, they’re really special people, whether it’s Freedom Caucus or Tuesday or Thursday or let’s go have a drink, that group. They’re great people, I know them all. And I can honestly say, a lot of them, I can honestly say I don’t dislike any of them. I like almost all of them a lot. And you know, we have some [lawmakers] that have never voted positively. But now we’re the governing party. Before it didn’t matter. They could vote no. It wouldn’t matter because President Obama was going veto everything and they didn’t have the Senate. Now we have the Senate, the House, and the White House. But these are great people. And I think you’re going to see the Republican Party really come together.”
— CBS THIS MORNING is broadcasting live from the White House this morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King. The show has administration officials starting with Gary Cohn booked with them as well as part two of their interview with Trump.
HMM — “Will Steve Bannon take over Heritage after Jim DeMint leaves? Mike Needham won’t say,” by Washington Examiner’s Philip Wegman: “Asked by Chris Wallace whether Heritage would be Bannon’s ‘safety net as he’s forced out of the White House,’ [Heritage Action CEO Mike] Needham demurred on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘I can tell you,’ Needham replied, ‘there’s a lot of speculation in the room and in the media that never misses a chance to divide and attack conservatives.’” http://washex.am/2quVgnL
THE JUICE …
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: JAMES RISEN, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, has started working on a new book for Houghton Mifflin about the history of the Church Committee and Sen. Frank Church. After intelligence abuses of the 1970s, the committee was set up to investigate the intelligence community and ways to reform it. Risen, who has previously written four books, told us he’s always been fascinated by the Church Committee, and wants to explore the “watershed” role it played in the history of U.S. intelligence and the “growth of the national security state.”
IN MOSCOW — “How the Republican right found allies in Russia,” by WaPo’s Ros Helderman and Tom Hamburger: “On issues including gun rights, terrorism and same-sex marriage, many leading advocates on the right who grew frustrated with their country’s leftward tilt under President Barack Obama have forged ties with well-connected Russians and come to see that country’s authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, as a potential ally.
“The attitude adjustment among many conservative activists helps explain one of the most curious aspects of the 2016 presidential race: a softening among many conservatives of their historically hard-line views of Russia. To the alarm of some in the GOP’s national security establishment, support in the party base for then-candidate Donald Trump did not wane even after he rejected the tough tone of 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, who called Russia America’s No. 1 foe, and repeatedly praised Putin.” http://wapo.st/2p0b41q
BUSINESS BURST — “Apple’s Cash Hoard Set to Top $250 Billion: Tech giant’s unequaled stash draws calls for buybacks, acquisitions as corporate tax shift looms,” by WSJ’s Tripp Mickle: “Apple Inc. is expected to report Tuesday that its stockpile of cash has topped a quarter of a trillion dollars, an unrivaled corporate hoard that is greater than the market value of both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. and exceeds the combined foreign-currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined.
“The money, more than 90% of which is stockpiled outside of the U.S., has drawn fresh attention as President Donald Trump has proposed slashing business taxes and a one-time tax holiday on corporate cash brought home. That could ratchet up pressure on the tech giant to make splashy acquisitions or dole out more money to shareholders.” http://on.wsj.com/2p06IYa
IS HE, OR ISN’T HE? — “Biden to Democrats: Rediscover what you are,” by Isaac Dovere in Manchester, New Hampshire: “Yes, Joe Biden said, the Democratic Party is in crisis. And so is America. But it’s not too late. Returning repeatedly here to the combined 172,000-vote margin in the three states that decided last year’s presidential election, the former vice president said Democrats need to face how deep the problem is — not a fluke, not just about Hillary Clinton’s performance, not just about a campaign by Donald Trump that clearly disgusted him. …
“He quickly tried to pierce the tension in the air. ‘Guys, I’m not running,’ Biden insisted at the beginning of his speech, acknowledging with a smile on his face the speculation stoked by his appearance in the first-in-the-nation primary state — a declaration met by the crowd leaping to its feet for a brief ‘Run, Joe, Run!’ chant. Biden didn’t mention the conversations he and his staff are having about building a strategy so that he’ll be best positioned to run if he decides to at the end of next year — or his longtime consultant Mike Donilon, who was perhaps most in favor of his running in 2016, who watched the speech from the side of the room.” http://politi.co/2oXgSb0
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DEEP DIVE — EVAN OSNOS in The New Yorker, “How Trump Could Get Fired: The Constitution offers two main paths for removing a President from office. How feasible are they?”: “Between October and March, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics received more than thirty-nine thousand public inquiries and complaints, an increase of five thousand per cent over the same period at the start of the Obama Administration. Nobody occupies the White House without criticism, but Trump is besieged by doubts of a different order, centering on the overt, specific, and, at times, bipartisan discussion of whether he will be engulfed by any one of myriad problems before he has completed even one term in office—and, if he is, how he might be removed.” http://bit.ly/2pzGU8h
THE GLOBAL POLITICO PODCAST — In a new interview for Susan Glasser’s Global Politico podcast, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt explains why Trump is more unpopular than former President George W. Bush in Europe and the prospects for a new cold war with Russian President Vladimir Putin. http://politi.co/2oXnVjZ … Transcript http://politi.co/2pwWu2q … Listen and subscribe http://apple.co/2kJ9q1U
MEDIAWATCH — “Fox in talks with Blackstone to buy Tribune Media: Joint bid for TV station operator aims to trump rival offer from Sinclair Broadcasting,” by FT’s Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles: “Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is in talks with Blackstone, the private equity firm, to launch a joint bid for Tribune Media, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
“Tribune, which owns a portfolio of US television stations, has a market capitalisation of $3.2bn. Fox and Blackstone hope to trump a rival offer from Sinclair Broadcasting, the largest owner of US television stations, and plan to form a joint venture for the deal, with Blackstone providing the cash and Fox injecting its own portfolio of stations.
“Fox has 28 owned and operated stations in the US but its broadcast network is carried by dozens of other stations — some of which are owned by Tribune. Its bid plans are partly defensive: if Sinclair succeeds in buying Tribune it will own these stations and be better placed to drive a harder bargain in carriage negotiations with Fox. Combining its station portfolio with Tribune would give Fox more ways to exploit sports rights, particularly the US National Football League.” http://on.ft.com/2qkrTIf
— BREITBART has released a free 71-page ebook called “The First 100 Days of Trump: Breitbart Special Report.” To download the book, it requires you to submit your name and email. http://bit.ly/2p0eQbe
SPOTTED — Former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, along with their wives, having Sunday brunch at Four Seasons in Georgetown … Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and his wife and kids yesterday out and about on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, heading into Carluccio’s restaurant … Kellyanne Conway having brunch at The Smith yesterday with her Secret Service agents close by … Alan Cumming in a striped beanie eating lunch yesterday at Kapnos Taverna in the American Airlines terminal at DCA. “Seemed to be having a good time with friends.”
POST-WHCD BRUNCH CIRCUIT — SPOTTED at the 8th annual brunch hosted by Dr. Elena and Robert Allbritton, where the theme was Cuba — Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Anna Cotton, VA Secretary David Shulkin, Jonathan Martin and Betsy Fischer Martin, Ben Smith, Jessica and Sam Lessin, Charlie Rose, Geoff Tracy and Norah O’Donnell, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, Valerie Jarrett and daughter Lauren Jarrett, Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig, Juleanna Glover, Mike Tuffin, Ryan Williams, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Tony Podesta, Carl Bernstein, Michael Steel, Heather Podesta, AshLee Strong …
… Jayne Visser, David Chalian, Marc Adelman, Margaret Carlson, Rob Saliterman, Patrick Steel, Carrie Budoff Brown, John Harris, Paul Volpe, Ron Bonjean and Sara Bonjean, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Gloria Dittus, Amy and Bret Baier, Ambassador of the U.K. Sir Nigel Kim Darroch, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Chris Wallace and Lorraine Wallace, Alan Fleischmann, Tammy Haddad, Tina Tchen, Susan Molinari, Stephanie Schriock, Geoff and Ann Morrell, Maria Teresa Kumar, Mark and Sally Ein, Blair and Josh Holmes, Amb. Susan Rice and Ian Cameron, Gloria Borger and Lance Morgan, Chris Isham, Deesha Dyer, April Ryan, former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld, Alex and Caitlin Conant, Sergio Gor. Photo slideshow http://politi.co/2oZZAv3 … The menu http://politi.co/2p0js0P
SPOTTED at yesterday’s “CNN’s Political Hangover Brunch” at the Longview Gallery: Jeff Zucker holding court wearing sweatpants, a jumpsuit and dark sunglasses indoors, Don Lemon in a white T-shirt and shorts, Jeff Mason, Margaret Talev, Van Jones, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Brian Stelter, Olivier Knox, Padma Lakshmi, Wolf and Lynn Blitzer, Jake and Jennifer Tapper, Dana Bash and Spencer Garrett, Matt Dornic, Jackie Kucinich, Carol Lee, Rick Santorum, Symone Sanders, Adrienne Elrod, Jason Miller, Rebecca Berg and Brendan Buck, Ron and Sara Bonjean, Sam Feist, Brian Danza, Andrew Kaczynski, Brian Steinberg …
… Hadas Gold, Carol Melton, Mary Katharine Ham, Meredith Artley, Alex Skatell, Oliver Darcy, Rodell Mollineau, Ashley Parker, Steven Perlberg, Izzy Povich, Sabrina Siddiqui, Jeff Zeleny (home from covering Trump in Pennsylvania), Maeve Reston, Zeke Miller, John Avlon, Margaret Hoover, Frank Sesno, Lauren Zelt, Michael Zona, Brittany Brammell, Anna Sugg, Cassie Spodak, Michael LaRosa, Greg Overzat, Polson Kanneth, Jill Chappell, Rachel Semmel, Mary Vought, Leslie Shedd, Jackie Kucinich and Jared Allen, Michael Steele, Ashley Etienne, Lauren Culbertson, Liz Johnson, Doug Heye, Manu Raju, Michael Steel, Sunlen Serfaty, Neil Chatterjee, Lauren Pratapas, Meredith Balenske, Jeremy Diamond and Ali Vitali, Nia Malika Henderson, Michael Falcone.
TRANSITIONS — Veteran Dem campaign manager Josh Wolf is joining Adelstein Liston Media as senior vice president. Last year Josh ran Patrick Murphy’s U.S. Senate bid in Florida and in 2014 ran Steve Grossman’s campaign for Massachusetts governor. … Jessica Mulligan has been named government relations manager at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; she was previously an associate for gov’t affairs at The Glover Park Group.
ASHLEY CHANG, who is fresh off the Jon Ossoff campaign for GA-06 and former director of public of engagement at USTDA, has joined JPMorgan Chase as head of strategic communications for corporate responsibility. Chang is a member of the firm’s growing public affairs team dedicated to advancing its new model for impact, which combines business and philanthropic resources to drive inclusive economic growth.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Karin Tanabe, a novelist (historical fiction at the moment) and a Politico alum, and husband Craig Fischer of the Department of Treasury, post on Facebook: “We are very happy to welcome baby Tristan Shaw Tanabe Fischer to the world! Tristan was born on April 27th and weighs in at a civilized 7 pounds even, 21 inches long.” Pic http://bit.ly/2pmtYlQ
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Nick Brown … (was Thursday): NYT’s James Risen
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Leonard Downie Jr., Walter Cronkite School journalism professor, former WaPo executive editor and “not retired at 75,” he tells us. How he’s celebrating: “a quiet dinner with my wife in Phoenix, where I’ve been teaching my annual semester of in-residence investigative reporting seminars at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Soon after, we will return to Washington, D.C. for the rest of the year.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2oOMkNq
BIRTHDAYS: “The Artful” Roger Conant, chairman and founder of Magni Global Asset Management and former member of the Sunfish Lake, Minn., City Council (hat tip: son Alex) … Abby Huntsman … David Winston … Alex Wellen, chief product officer at CNN, who once won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest … Tom Walsh, writer/editor for the DNC … Maria Pica Karp, VP and general manager of gov’t affairs at Chevron … Amy Smith (hat tips: Jack) … Molly Levinson, former CNN and CBS political director … Meredith Schultz, AEI’s manager of external affairs … Peter Schulz, Pam Stevens’ son … Shivam Mallick Shah, on the education team at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative … Ninio Fetalvo, assistant White House press secretary and Pollie award winning actor (h/ts Natalie Strom and Audrey Scagnelli) … Michael Freedman, SVP at University of Maryland University College … Alan Kaye is 47 … Anthony Cimino, SVP for risk management and gov’t affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable … Seth London, Obama campaign, WH and Revolution alum, now managing director at Tusk Ventures, but still a table-tennis prodigy, is 32 … Stacie Paxton Cobos, SVP for comms and marketing at The Climate Reality Project … Jordan Quinn, director of gov’t affairs at The Hartford …
… Rachael Dean Wilson, former comms director for Sen. McCain … Josh Tonsager, senior legislative director of the National Association of Wheat Growers … Shaina Goodman, policy manager for National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, celebrating with a night out at Arena Stage (h/t Zach Baron) … Politico Europe’s Emmet Livingstone … John Bridgeland, founder and CEO of Civic and a Bush WH alum … Liz Stark … Graham Veysey, principal of North Water Partners … Jeff Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch political reporter, is 62 (h/t Bruce Potter) … veteran state legislative counsel and redistricting attorney Jeff Wice … The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, a Daily Beast alum … Julia Mazzone of Sen. Rubio’s office … Megan Lowry, associate at Glover Park Group … Jon Gerberg of the PBS Newshour … Caroline Chen, biotech and healthcare reporter at Bloomberg … Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) is 64 … Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) is 56 … Anjana Padmanabhan … Dawn Livingston … Joe Gillespie of KXNT-FM, helping Vegas wake up since 2010 … Elizabeth Stanley, COS to Rep. Nita Lowey … Pete Jeffries is 53 … Jessica Marie Gallo … Arash Ghadishah … Fox News alum Nelson Lewis is 33 … Emily Lamont, Ned’s daughter … Maureen Garde … Ellen Moran … Susan Mudd … Rebecca Carson … Mary Hughes … Nan Gibson, Obama CEA alum … Jake Hajdu … Mike Zeitlin (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Alex Cisneros of Rep. Curbelo’s office … Andrew Tyrrell … country singer Tim McGraw is 5-0 (h/t Kurt Bardella)
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