NEWS — NBC LOOKING AT STUDIO SPACE AWAY FROM NEBRASKA AVE. — FROM HADAS GOLD and JAKE SHERMAN — NBC News is exploring new studio space outside of its historic Washington bureau on Nebraska Avenue, potentially moving the bureau, or at least part of it, to another space likely closer Capitol Hill.
NBC’s Washington bureau, which shares the space with local NBC affiliate WRC, has been located in upper Northwest near American University since 1947. A spokesperson says the network is ‘exploring options’ but that ‘no decisions have been made yet.’ There’s been some buzz that NBC and MSNBC would move much of its programming to 400 North Capitol Street, just blocks from the Capitol. Greta van Susteren’s MSNBC show is broadcasting from a newly redone studio at 400 N Cap.
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“MSNBC’s Washington presence continues to broadcast regularly from various downtown locations, like the Chamber of Commerce rooftop and 400 N. Cap studios, to offer a better visual experience for viewers and to better secure newsmaking guests — this has been the case since Election Day,” the spokesperson said.
A NEW DYNAMIC — WHAT TO LOOK FOR — President Donald Trump will begin meeting with members of Congress one on one instead of in large groups. People close to him believe it will be a much more effective way to pin lawmakers down. This could be critical as the White House looks to revive the health care debate and take on tax reform.
… SPEAKING OF TAX REFORM — Yes, President Donald Trump is releasing his outlines for tax reform today. But let’s be honest: what he is releasing today will not bear much resemblance to anything that might pass in the coming year. We were up on Capitol Hill and worked our White House sources yesterday, and they all see this not as a line in the sand or as a serious proposal, but as an opportunity to get the conversation started. No, Congress won’t be able to lower corporate and passthrough tax rates to 15 percent. The professionals in the White House realize this — and also realize that they’re beginning to irk Capitol Hill committees by releasing this. Without some corresponding way of paying for such low rates, these rates would blow a massive hole in the deficit. But it reflects a White House itching for action. (That explains their push for a health care vote this week.) And insiders say unlike health care reform, Trump is more personally invested in making sure something happens on tax reform.
— NYT’s JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, ALAN RAPPEPORT, KATE KELLY and RACHEL ABRAMS: “The package would … increase the standard deduction for individuals, providing a modest cut for middle-income people and simplifying the process of filing tax returns, according to people briefed on its details. That proposal is opposed by home builders and real estate agents, who fear it would diminish the importance of the mortgage interest deduction. And it is likely to necessitate eliminating or curbing other popular deductions, a politically risky pursuit.” http://nyti.ms/2ovoLcC
— WSJ’s MIKE BENDER and RICH RUBIN: “[M]r. Trump may have trouble complying with the congressional procedure known as reconciliation, which allows a Republican party-line vote in the Senate, but which requires bills to avoid increasing budget deficits outside the 10-year budget window. On income-tax rates for individuals, Mr. Trump has said he wants to reduce the number of brackets, but his advisers are still debating where to set the rates. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is said to prefer a top rate of 37%, the people said. That’s below today’s top rate of 39.6% but above the 33% rate that Mr. Trump proposed during the campaign. That new top rate wouldn’t apply to pass-through income, which would get the special 15% rate.
“Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said Tuesday that he hadn’t heard from the White House on its tax plan. That’s a mistake, he said. ‘You make it partisan only, and you don’t get both sides invested in it, people saw what a debacle you had on the first round of health policy,’ Mr. Wyden said. ‘You can win by reconciliation, if you just decide to hardball your way through it, but the track record shows it’s not sustainable and it’s not successful.’” http://on.wsj.com/2q5Uz7V
FROM 30K FEET — “Instead of launching tax reform, Trump could ground it,” by Ben White and Nancy Cook: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday will release a plan to radically overhaul the American tax code that many Republicans say is unrealistic and could end up hurting the chances of getting anything done on the issue, long one of the party’s top priorities. Driven by a president eager to show momentum heading into the close of his first 100 days in office, the hastily written plan could wind up alienating critical Hill Republicans while offering little or nothing to entice Democrats. It could also be widely dismissed by outside observers as an over-hyped rehash of promises the president already made during the campaign
“‘So far at least, the contours of this are starting to look a lot like what happened with Trump and Congress on health care,’ said Lanhee Chen, a top adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and now a professor at Stanford. ‘On health care you had irreconcilable differences on the scope of government. And in the same way here, whether or not you pay for a tax cut is a fundamental difference Republicans have. And what we could see Wednesday is that there isn’t even as much middle ground on taxes as there was on health care.’” http://politi.co/2qdltqC
AHEAD OF TODAY’S W.H. MEETING WITH THE SENATE — “U.S. sets up missile defense in S. Korea as North shows power,” by AP’s Foster Klug in Seoul, South Korea: “In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system have been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power. The South’s trumpeting of progress in setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing. … The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons. China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with its ally Pyongyang, and Russia see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat.” http://apne.ws/2oL7Yyh
— “Trump’s ‘Armada’ Sent to Deter Kim Can’t Knock Down His Missiles,” by Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio: “The U.S. Navy flotilla sailing toward the Korean peninsula to deter Kim Jong Un’s regime lacks a key capability: It can’t shoot down ballistic missiles. The USS Carl Vinson and the aircraft carrier’s accompanying destroyers and cruiser are expected to arrive in waters near the peninsula this week, carrying a full complement of weaponry, including scores of Tomahawk cruise and anti-ship missiles, radar-jamming aircraft and non-stealthy ‘Super Hornet’ jets built by Boeing Co. That firepower brings a lot to any fight, but the Navy’s lack of ballistic missile defense capability on the scene means the Trump administration’s high-profile show of force has a significant gap as it warns North Korea against another missile test and pressures it to back down from its nuclear program.” https://bloom.bg/2q4iSjL
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UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SEEING ON HEALTH CARE — As we’ve been laying out, there has been progress behind the scenes on the health-care bill that went up in flames a few weeks ago. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) negotiated a package — mostly with the White House — over recess. Now, House conservatives say they’ve done their duty, and the GOP leadership needs to bring moderates around. Of course, the House leadership disagrees, and says nearly the entire conservative caucus needs to support the health care bill for it to have a chance. Moderate, meanwhile, remain on the sidelines. See Kyle Cheney, Rachael Bade and Katie Jennings’ piece http://politi.co/2q6htfl
— THE BLAME GAME: Members of the HFC feel like they shoulder too much blame. So watch this week as they try highlight that moderates are not coming around to support the bill.
— WAPO’s BOB COSTA and PAIGE WINFIELD CUNNINGHAM on the state of play. http://wapo.st/2oIR7v6
SHUTDOWN WATCH — DIVISION NOT JUST AMONG GOP — “Pelosi and Hoyer at odds over budget negotiations,” by Heather Caygle: “A disagreement between House Democratic leaders over Obamacare subsidies spilled into the open Tuesday, threatening to undermine their negotiating position as they hash out a deal with Republicans to fund the government. Democratic negotiators, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are demanding the final funding bill include language to provide permanent Obamacare subsidies to help cover costs for low-income enrollees and keep insurance markets afloat. But House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), No. 2 behind Pelosi, publicly dismissed that idea Tuesday, saying the fix would be nice to have in the funding bill but should not be a requirement for supporting the legislation and should not be used as a partisan bargaining chip.” http://politi.co/2p34BVM
THIS SEEMS IMPORTANT — FOGGY BOTTOM WATCH — “Rex Tillerson Spurns Africa In Botched Meeting with African Union Chief,” by Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson invited the chairperson of the African Union to Washington for a meeting, then backed out on him at the last minute, infuriating African diplomats, several sources tell Foreign Policy. Tillerson invited African Union … Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki to Washington the week of April 17, after Faki ended meetings at the United Nations in New York. Several sources close to the matter say Faki scheduled his trip to Washington on April 19 and 20 while waiting for the details to be sorted out. But then Tillerson’s office went radio silent for several days, and left the head of the 55-nation bloc in the lurch and fuming.” http://atfp.co/2pkosAj
HAPPENING TODAY — The White House is hosting a regional TV and radio tour as part of its 100-day media blitz. White House officials tell us it will include more than 105 individual interviews with senior staff and cabinet secretaries. Participants include: Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and Omarosa Manigault and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, VA Secretary David Shulkin, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
THE JUICE …
— QUITE THE NIGHT AT CAFE MILANO. At separate tables last night at the newly revived Georgetown eatery: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Carly Fiorina, Liz Bourgeois of Facebook, and former Secretary of State John Kerry with birthday boy Bob Crowe of Nelson Mullins, Tom Quinn and Gerry Harrington.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: JAVELIN has hired ROBIN SPROUL to be its executive vice president. She starts May 2 at the D.C.-based literary, media and creative agency. Sproul is an Emmy-winning veteran journalist who was ABC’s Washington bureau chief for 21 years. She will work on business development and media representation. http://bit.ly/2pkjGDd
— THE MEETING YOU WISH YOU WERE IN: VP Mike Pence secretly slipped in to talk to House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) yesterday on Capitol Hill.
— @AmyJBrittain: “Part of the U.S. taxpayer price-tag for Jared & Ivanka’s vacation to Vancouver: $6,884.03 for ‘multi day ski passes’ for Secret Service” http://bit.ly/2q5TgWz
NEW POLITICO/ MORNING CONSULT POLL — “Poll: Border wall funding isn’t worth shutdown,” by Jake Sherman: “President Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border isn’t worth shutting down the federal government, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. Sixty-one percent of registered voters say funding a wall along the nation’s southern border is ‘not important enough to prompt a shutdown.’ A plurality of those polled say fighting for increased funding for defense and homeland security would be worth risking a shutdown. The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted April 20-24 among 2,032 registered voters, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.
“There does appear to be widespread awareness that federal funding expires Friday, with 54 percent saying they have heard some or a lot about a possible government shutdown. And 76 percent say a government shutdown would concern them.” http://politi.co/2p3pS1z
MORE INTERESTING DATA POINTS FOR YOU TO CHEW OVER…
— W.H. TRANSPARENCY: 51% of registered voters believe that the administration should “release the names of all people who visit the White House on government business.”
— IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL: 47% said that they are more likely to support the Iran nuclear deal now that the U.S. said the nation is complying with the agreement.
— PENCE FAVORABILITY: VP Mike Pence has 49% favorability, 37% find him unfavorable and 14% haven’t heard of him.
MORE DATA — “Deep schisms among voters at the 100 day mark,” by Jason Millman http://politi.co/2oLmQMW
EXCITING NEWS — PLAYBOOK EXCHANGE EVENT IN SAN FRANCISCO — Save the date: We’re coming to San Francisco May 10 for conversations over cocktails. We’re looking forward to talking with HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CALIF.) in his home state. California Playbookers Carla Marinucci and David Siders will chat with CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL XAVIER BECERRA and we’ll also lead a conversation with REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CALIF.). More details to follow. Interested in attending or learning more? Email us email@example.com
JUST POSTED — “Is Justin Trudeau the Anti-Trump?: Canada’s prime minister talks trade, milk, marijuana, housing bubbles, and Donald Trump,” by John Micklethwait, the editor in chief of Bloomberg News. https://bloom.bg/2qdIKci
SMART TAKE BY SOME GUY NAMED BEN SMITH? — “The Swamp Is Getting Tired Of Winning: Trump learns old Republican politics works,” by BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo and Ben Smith: “As the Trump administration scrambles to list the accomplishments of Donald Trump’s first hundred days, an awkward fact is becoming clear: To the extent that they have much to brag about, it’s because they’ve turned important roles and projects over to the swamp-dwelling Washington insiders Trump campaigned against. Trump’s clearest major accomplishment is also the purest example of this trend: The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was a masterpiece of insider politics, steered by the longtime master of Washington conservative judicial politics Leonard Leo and guided through the Senate by the most Washington of Washington strategists, Ron Bonjean.
“The nomination process was as slick as virtually everything else Trump touched was messy: Well-researched and coordinated, with an array of conservative groups feeding and sparring with the media and with Democrats. It was characterized by aggression and spin, but not overt lying or massive bumbles. And while it was hardly a rogue operation — Bonjean is close to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer — it was like an alternate universe from the chaos reporters are accustomed to coming out of Pennsylvania Avenue. Crucially, Trump, after a few wild tweets, stayed out of it. And, in just 66 days, it worked for an administration that has not had any major legislative successes with its Republican Congress outside of reversing Obama-era regulations. The lesson: The swamp is winning.” http://bzfd.it/2pyyq1V
WHAT IVANKA AND JARED ARE READING — “State Department Memo Boosts Case to Stay in Paris Climate Pact,” by Bloomberg’s Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Nick Wadhams: “An internal State Department memo says the Paris climate accord imposes few obligations on the U.S., bolstering the case for Trump administration officials who want to stay in the deal. The document, marked as a draft, makes no explicit recommendation about whether the U.S. should remain part of the pact. It circulated ahead of a scheduled meeting of top administration officials Thursday to discuss whether President Donald Trump should fulfill his campaign pledge to exit the deal. … Under terms of the agreement, the U.S. couldn’t formally exit until 2019. It faces no specific reporting requirements until 2021.” https://bloom.bg/2q4lP3G
NOBODY HOME — “Slow pace of Trump nominations leaves Cabinet agencies ‘stuck’ in staffing limbo,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein: “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has publicly expressed frustration with the process, has routinely peppered the White House Personnel Office for updates and called Trump directly to press for faster action on filling vacant jobs at the Interior Department, said two people familiar with his contacts … Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price aired his dismay at a recent breakfast meeting with his former congressional colleagues. ‘He’s very frustrated,’ said a Republican House member who was there. ‘He felt it was much more difficult to operate the department and provide the leadership level that you need to provide.’ Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has also become impatient, said a Republican lobbyist who is close to her. Chao has tapped an outside consultant to help her identify candidates for top jobs and shepherd them through the White House nomination process.” http://wapo.st/2q45gF3
— “Trump administration moving to replace fired U.S. attorneys,” by Josh Dawsey and Josh Gerstein: “The White House has struck tentative agreements with more than a dozen senators on picks to fill U.S. attorney positions left vacant since early March, according to officials at the White House and on Capitol Hill. White House chief counsel Don McGahn has spent much of the past three weeks meeting with senators and their staff, the officials say. The administration hopes to announce some of the appointments in the next three weeks, according to three people familiar with their thinking.” http://politi.co/2qdqtvp
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COURT WATCH — “White House slams ‘egregious’ ruling on sanctuary cities,” by Cristiano Lima: “The White House on Tuesday rebuked a federal judge’s decision to block a Trump administration directive aimed at stripping funding from ‘sanctuary cities,’ calling the court decision yet another case of ‘egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.’ Earlier Tuesday San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick blocked President Donald Trump’s administration from enforcing a portion of its Jan. 25 executive order that would halt federal funding to municipalities that did not uphold federal immigration laws.” http://politi.co/2q4qyCn
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Trump Said to Order Review of Oil Drilling Off California Coast,” by Bloomberg’s Jennifer A. Dlouhy: “President Donald Trump will open the door to new oil and natural gas drilling in Pacific waters off the coast of California with a directive Friday that sets up a certain clash with environmentalists. Trump will order the Interior Department to review locations for offshore oil and gas exploration and consider selling drilling rights in territory that former President Barack Obama put off limits … That includes U.S. Pacific waters, as well as Arctic and Atlantic acreage left out of the five-year schedule of lease sales issued by Obama in November.” https://bloom.bg/2ov2dJ4
FUTURECAST — “With Secret Airship, Sergey Brin Also Wants to Fly,” by Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance: “Larry Page has his flying cars. Sergey Brin shall have an airship. Brin, the Google co-founder, has secretly been building a massive airship inside of Hangar 2 at the NASA Ames Research Center, according to four people with knowledge of the project. It’s unclear whether the craft, which looks like a zeppelin, is a hobby or something Brin hopes to turn into a business. ‘Sorry, I don’t have anything to say about this topic right now,’ Brin wrote in an email.” https://bloom.bg/2pyxg6z
WOMEN RULE PODCAST: Hollywood is still reeling from Hillary Clinton’s loss, we learn in the latest episode of Women Rule, where POLITICO sits down with some of Hollywood’s finest. In this week’s episode, we hear directly from the woman that organized surrogates for Clinton’s campaign, and two of the stars that stumped for her on the trail. One thing is clear, Hollywood is searching for a Democratic star to back in 2020. And Tinseltown has some advice for any leading female candidates considering a bid in the next election cycle: Be more “unapologetically yourself” than Clinton was. http://politi.co/2ovja5W … Listen and subscribe http://apple.co/2ovhUju
MEDIAWATCH — ROBERT SIEGEL to leave NPR — per Morning Media: “NPR will lose its most recognizable voice when the ‘All Things Considered’ host steps down in January 2018 after 40 years with the broadcast outlet. … NPR says it will ‘conduct a national search … for the next voice of ‘’ll Things Considered.’” http://n.pr/2oIMVeI
LATE-NIGHT BEST – “‘The Bold And The Babbling’ Starring Sean Spicer” — The Late Show: “After Trump likened his Press Secretary’s ratings to a soap opera, Sean Spicer lands the role of a lifetime in the CBS daytime drama.” 1-min. video http://bit.ly/2pkwedv
SPOTTED: Paul Begala and Jen Psaki yesterday on an Acela train from D.C. up the Northeast corridor – they got off in Wilmington, Delaware because they both got turned around by CNN to head back to D.C. to do TV from there. … Jose Andres running for his train at Union Station … Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) leaving Bullfeathers yesterday at 5:30 p.m. … Roger Stone having lunch yesterday at The Palm with two other men. …
… Mary Matalin at the bar at CXIII Rex, the private cigar club in Old Town. John Heilemann was there with Alex Castellanos and a TV crew, presumably taping for “The Circus.” … Former Bloomberg White House reporter and current H+K Strategies EVP Dick Keil, Former Bush 43 White House and current Beer Institute VP Denise Dunckel, and former Bush 43 White House and current North Bay Strategies owner Greg Jenkins tossing back a beer or two at Capitol City Brewery in Shirlington.
OUT AND ABOUT — D.C. techies and administration and Hill gamers flocked to the Nintendo and Entertainment Software Association party last night at Longview Gallery, celebrating the recent release of the Nintendo Switch. D.C. techies from both sides of the aisle got a sneak preview of Nintendo’s latest console and spent the night competing against each other at Mario Kart 8 and Arms. SPOTTED: Devon Pritchard, Charlie Scibetta, Ivana Guida, Mike Gallagher, Thomas Quinn, Emmanual Guillory, Austin Carson, Jimmy Walsh, former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Collins, Katie Frakes, Nick Choate, John McCarthy, Rebecca Mark, Laurent Crenshaw, Reuben Gregorian, Aubrey Quinn, Lauren Ehrsam and Jason Gorey.
OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC — Per Joe Pompeo’s Morning Media: “THE GLITTERATI WERE OUT IN FULL FORCE AT THE TIME 100 GALA LAST NIGHT — Would’ve loved to have been a fly on the bar counter, as it were, for the conversation Megyn Kelly was having with Preet Bharara toward the end of cocktail hour, but alas the former Fox News anchor and former Fox News investigator were ever so slightly out of earshot. Another anecdote of note: Harvey Weinstein fanned out on Brian Stelter for a hot second as we were being corralled into Frederick P. Rose Hall, at Jazz at Lincoln Center in the Time Warner building, for dinner. (Weinstein is a loyal ‘Reliable Sources’ watcher, apparently.) And of course Arianna Huffington seemed ubiquitous as ever as she circulated the room.” http://politi.co/2pyGqQS
–SPOTTED: Gretchen Carlson, Andy Lack, Phil Griffin, Chris Licht, Katie Couric, Trevor Noah, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Norm Pearlstine, Cindy Sherman, Charlie Rose, Steven Rubenstein, Robert Mercer and Rebekah Mercer (an honoree).
SPOTTED last night at the annual Bryce Harlow Foundation Dinner, aka “Lobbyists Prom” at the Marriott Marquis: Dawn Sweeney, Rich Gold, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jay Timmons, David McCurdy, Mark Gorman, Rob Green, Katherine Luger, Arielle Elliott, Sen. Michael Bennett (R-Colo.), Leslie Shedd, Cal and Linda Dooley, Booth Jameson, Mike Meenan, John Seale, Matt Leggett, Kevin Burke, Michelle Korsmo, Steve Danon, Elizabeth Gibson.
–Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska.) was feted last night at the Capitol Hill home of former Sen. (and last Democratic Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair) Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Dozens of energy and natural resources heavies gathered to celebrate the current ENR Chair. SPOTTED: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur and Commissioner Colette Honorable, Jack Gerard, Karen Knutson, Chip Ray, Rick Agnew, John DiStasio, Jeff Trandahl, Joe Kelliher, Don Santa, Emily Duncan, Laura Vaught, Paula Gant, Tom Roberts, Nick Welch.
TRANSITIONS — Kyle Buckles starts this week as communications director for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). He will be taking over for Stefanie Wheeler who departs Blackburn’s office this Friday to return to New York to work in media booking and consulting. Buckles was previously comms director for Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.). … The RNC has added RSSC executive director Emily Threadgill as director of member services. Prior to leading Republican secretaries of states to a record number of victories, Emily was deputy director of member services for then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. … Sam Beaver has started as policy adviser in Majority Whip John Cornyn’s office. He previously was a professional staff member with the Senate Finance Committee majority staff. …
… Charles Blahous, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and former public trustee for Social Security and Medicare, has been named the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair starting May 1. … Travis Gibbons has started as senior director of health policy and regulatory affairs at The Beer Institute. He most recently served as the director of federal affairs for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Domenico Montanaro, NPR’s lead editor for politics and digital audience — how he’s celebrating: “Celebrating with my wife and kids. Probably low-key since it’s a Wednesday. But our birthdays are pretty close to each other, so we are going to do a little combo weekend backyard party soon.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2p3p39n
BIRTHDAYS: Melania Trump is 47. The president and first lady are celebrating with a private dinner in the White House residence (hubby tip: President Trump) … Larry Grisolano of The Strategy Group, CEO of AKPD Message and Media and the pride of Burlington, Iowa … all-terrain marathoner Luke Frans, whose Twitter bio reads “Palmetto State native and Bush 43 alum. Fan of politics and country music” … Suzy George, former Obama NSC chief of staff and executive secretary and an Albright Stonebridge and NDI alum (h/t Ben Chang) … Politico’s Colin Wilhelm … Cherie Deogracias … Karas Gross, deputy director of the House Rules Committee, is 35 … Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer … Russell Goldman, NYT’s senior staff editor on the int’l desk and an ABC News alum … Ben Fishel, senior publicist for media relations at NPR … John Leganski, floor director for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is 26 … Ben Schwerin, VP of partnerships at Snapchat … Emily Schultheis, who just returned from covering the French election and is headed back to Europe soon (h/t Bryon Tau) … E&E News reporting fellow Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder (h/t Colby Bermel) … Ebbie Yazdani is 28 (h/t Team Ratcliffe) … Jared Sawyer, senior counsel on the Senate Banking Committee (h/t Mandi Critchfield) … Madeleine Wenk is 10 (h/t dad Christopher Wenk) … WSJ’s Eliot Brown … Paulina Firozi, a reporter at The Hill (h/t Rebecca Schieber) … Chris Curry, who works at Dewey Square Group and is an HRC MI alum, and, most importantly, is a multiple-Playbook-Haiku-competition-winning poet (h/t Will Tucker) … Beth Gage (h/t Jon Haber) … Nicole Elkon, former chief of staff under Obama at State Dept’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, former press secretary of SBA during the Clinton admin, and longtime Clinton West Wing special assistant to the POTUS for scheduling (h/t Julie Mason) …
… Sery Kim, media sherpa for CMS Administrator Seema Verma, celebrating by heading to Italy and the Dalmatian Coast to review the Windstar Cruise, as well as Castello di Casole in Tuscany, for her hobby as a food and travel writer at AdventuresInSery.com before coming back to start a new job with the Trump Administration … Conor Gaughan, managing partner of Collective Conscience, a social impact strategy firm, is 37 … Matt DeLuca, VP of digital strategy at Engage … Shana Teehan, comms. director for Sen. Luther Strange … Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) is 71 … Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) is 62 … Meagan McCanna, senior manager of federal affairs and engagement at Airbnb … Joe Paolino — former Providence mayor, former U.S. ambassador, and HRC loyalist … Storm Quinn, son of Jack and Susanna … Jay Howser, a Democratic media consultant at Shorr Johnson Magnus … Nick Penniman, executive director of Issue One (h/t William Gray) … George Wenschhof … Justin M. Bibb … DCCC alum Alex Morgan … Kayla Bakshi … Lisa Hanna … Kristi Stone Hamrick … Seth Amgott … Melissa Neal … Jon Rice … Bret Mills … Mare Chapman … John Adashek … Aixin Wang (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … architect I.M. Pei is 100 … Carol Burnett is 84 … former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey is 51 … Channing Tatum is 37 (h/ts AP)
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