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Today's Playbook Power Briefing presented by UC Davis

04/20/2017 01:14 PM EDT


By JAKE SHERMAN (; @JakeSherman), ANNA PALMER (; @apalmerdc), DANIEL LIPPMAN (; @dlippman), ZACH MONTELLARO ( ; @ZachMontellaro)


BREAKING -- "White House plans Obamacare showdown next week," by Adam Cancryn and Josh Dawsey: "The White House is pushing for another showdown vote on repealing Obamacare next week, to coincide with President Donald Trump's hitting the 100-day milestone in office. Legislative text of a new deal that could revive the House Republican bid to repeal Obamacare is likely to be circulated Friday 'or by the weekend,' according to two senior White House officials, with an eye toward holding a House floor vote next Wednesday or Thursday.
But Republican congressional leaders are skeptical the vote can happen so quickly. ... The White House believes it is 'close' to having the 216 votes needed to get a bill out of the House, one senior official said, but 'people don't want to commit without seeing the text.'"

NEWSFLASH -- The White House doesn't set the congressional schedule! There is very heavy skepticism from senior House Republicans about actually holding a vote next week. Many do not believe it is probable or possible. They haven't whipped this bill! And they don't know whether the changes get enough conservative support without losing moderates. And... listen to Bres:

-- @BresPolitico: "A note on possible House vote next week - This is all very tentative, despite what White House is saying ... Just noting that Sean Spicer & other WH officials said publicly last month the House was gonna vote & pass AHCA. Didn't happen"

Good Thursday afternoon.

PIC DU JOUR -- @JakeTapper: ".@POTUS invited @SarahPalinUSA to dinner and told her to bring some friends" Spoiler alert: Kid Rock and Ted Nugent

OUR GUY IN WELLINGTON -- SCOTT BROWN, former Massachusetts senator and big Trump backer, will be nominated by the Trump administration to be the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, according to a White House release. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted her support for Brown's nomination.

IVANKA'S OFFICIAL TRIP -- "Ivanka Trump heading to Germany for official visit," by AP's Catherine Lucey: "The White House announced the schedule for the first daughter's trip to Berlin, scheduled for Tuesday. It will be the first official international trip for Trump ... Ivanka Trump is traveling to Berlin at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She will participate in the W20 Summit, a women-focused effort within the Group of 20 countries. On that day in Berlin, Trump will also take in a technical school, visit the United States embassy and go to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Her day will conclude with a gala dinner."

HMM ... -- @KSLNewsradio: "BREAKING NEWS: @jasoninthehouse tells KSL's @DougWrightShow he might not finish his Congressional term."

-- THIS HAS BEEN the buzz among House Republicans since his announcement. But Chaffetz -- usually a chatty lawmaker -- has gone uncharacteristically quiet with most D.C. reporters.

****** A message from UC Davis: At UC Davis, unusual collaborations in veterinary medicine, human health and engineering lead to groundbreaking treatments for beloved pets and other animals, from furry to feathered. Those breakthroughs lead to translatable human medicine. It's a One Health approach that benefits the health of all. Learn more at ******

TIMELY POLL -- "Support for marijuana legalization at all-time high," by CBS News' Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto: "Sixty-one percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legal, a five-point increase from last year and the highest percentage ever recorded in this poll. Eighty-eight percent favor medical marijuana use. Seventy-one percent oppose the federal government's efforts to stop marijuana sales and its use in states that have legalized it, including opposition from most Republicans, Democrats, and independents." ... Full toplines

REMEMBER HIM? -- "Judge attacked by Trump to oversee 'Dreamer' deportation lawsuit," by Madeline Conway: "Gonzalo Curiel, the judge Donald Trump attacked as a candidate because of his 'Mexican heritage,' will hear another case involving the president - this time, a lawsuit filed against his administration by a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant who was recently deported. Juan Manuel Montes, who had protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as the Dreamers program, filed a complaint on Tuesday arguing that government officials who deported him to Mexico failed to offer him documents outlining why his deportation was legal."

THE LATEST SALVO -- @realDonaldTrump at 9:48 a.m. "Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H." The NYT tweet that spurred it

NEWS FROM PEORIA -- "Aaron Schock's attorneys ask for charges to be tossed out," by the Journal Star's Andy Kravetz: "Attorneys for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock say the government's case should be thrown out because prosecutors can't interpret the rules members of Congress set for themselves. That means, Schock's attorneys say, the government's allegations of fraud and official misconduct hold no water.

"A motion to dismiss the sweeping indictment handed down last November was filed early Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Peoria. Such motions are fairly routine in white-collar cases, but given the sharp rhetoric so far from both sides in the pre-trial phase, the hearing over Schock's motion could be contentious. Specifically, George J Terwilliger, Schock's lead attorney, said the government's case fails because it violates the Constitution's rulemaking, speech or debate, and due process clauses which govern how representatives manage their offices. Furthermore, Terwilliger contends the Federal Election Commission was created to regulate these actions. That agency has not yet had any findings related to the allegations contained in the indictment."

PLAYBOOK INBOX -- OBAMA CALLS MACRON -- Former President Barack Obama spoke by phone with Emmanuel Macron a centrist candidate who is leading polls ahead of France's run-off election over the weekend. The statement, per Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis: "President Obama spoke on the phone to Emmanuel Macron this morning. President Obama appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mr. Macron about his campaign and the important upcoming presidential election in France, a country that President Obama remains deeply committed to as a close ally of the United States, and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world. An endorsement was not the purpose of the call, as President Obama is not making any formal endorsement in advance of the run-off election on Sunday."

-- "Macron Wants to Change France. But Will Voters Elect an Unknown?," by NYT's Alissa Rubin

TRANSITIONS -- Marty Paone is rejoining Prime Policy Group as a senior adviser. He most recently served as Senate liaison for former President Obama and his deputy assistant for legislative affairs.

NEW SOROS FELLOWS -- The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program announced their 2017 class. Each fellow is an immigrant or child of an immigrant and receives $90,000 merit-based fellowship. Past winners include Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Washington state Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib and Olympic gold medalist Amy Chow. The list of new fellows

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION -- "What happened when 'Pizzagate' exploded at my restaurant," by Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis in WaPo, writing for the first time about his ordeal: "I was inundated with death threats, sometimes many a day. Comet's Facebook and Yelp pages were flooded with obscene 'reviews.' The restaurant's phone rang off the hook, with people calling and screaming at the hosts. First, we answered only local area codes, then unplugged the phones."

-- "Busy year for protests could cost Washington millions," by the AP's Ben Nuckols: "District of Columbia officials are accustomed to accommodating First Amendment demonstrations. But there's a real chance the city will burn through the money it gets every year from Congress to cover police overtime and other costs. ... The bean-counting, handled by the city's homeland security department, is the tough part. Congress sets aside money every year to reimburse the city for the cost of First Amendment activities. That number fluctuates yearly but is usually around $15 million, said Christopher Geldart, the city's former homeland security director, in an interview before he stepped down in early April. Sometimes the city spends more, and sometimes less, but in general the appropriation isn't too far off, and if it's too much, the money rolls over to the following year."

SPOTTED -- Matt Damon and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao separately at DCA this morning. Chao was headed for a flight to Boston and Damon was walking out of a security checkpoint with "lots of paparazzi," per our tipster.

SPOTTED last night at the National Museum of African American History and Culture for an advance screening of the HBO film "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," which premiers on Saturday (trailer: ): Oprah Winfrey, Jake Tapper, George Wolfe, Lonnie G. Bunch lll, Valerie Jarrett, Benjamin Todd Jealous, Suzanne Malveaux, Rebecca Skloot, Hank Stuever, David Chalian, Polson Kanneth, Manuel Roig Franzia, Lynn Sweet, Nikki Schwab, Ann Davenport, Len Amato, president of HBO Films, and 40 members of the Lacks family.

****** A message from UC Davis: Ranked first in the world for veterinary medicine, UC Davis believes collaborating across disciplines in animal, human and environmental health is the best way to advance the health of all creatures great and small. Using this "One Health" approach to problem solving, our research - much of which is federally funded - is resulting in cost-saving, translatable treatments for cancer, breakthroughs in stem cell therapy, increased awareness and management of emerging zoonotic diseases, better protection for endangered species, and comprehensive responses to environmental crises like oil spills and floods. Learn more about UC Davis health innovation at ******

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