Or is it just for show? |

March 29, 2017

By Zeke J. Miller


The Trump Administration is trying to restart talks with the House of Representatives on the defeated health care bill, with senior aides reaching out to Capitol Hill in recent days. But those talks don't appear to be bearing any fruit just yet—and the prospect of a breakthrough after last week's legislative debacle appears to be slim. In a meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators Tuesday evening Trump expressed a desire to continue negotiating on the subject, but those comments are being brushed off by both sides of the aisle as empty talk for the news cameras. Instead, the White House and Capitol Hill are shifting gears to tax reform and infrastructure, but those bills are a ways away from being ready for prime time. Instead, Trump is resorting to what are essentially stall tactics: highly visible events and statements that don't actually accomplishment much. The President is highly conscious of how he is perceived by the public, particularly on cable news, so he and his staff have sought out opportunities to use the trappings of the White House to their advantage.

Congress rolled back a Federal Communications Commission rule barring broadband providers from selling data on their customers' browsing habits to advertisers, sending the bill to Trump's desk for his signature. Privacy advocates are up-in-arms about the development, while industry groups see $$$.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped out Tuesday night in San Francisco at a conference for businesswomen and struck a defiant tone about the Trump Administration and the work left undone because of her defeat in November. Clinton pledged she will continue to speak out even though she lost her bid for the Oval Office.

The House Intelligence Committee's inquiry into Russia's meddling in 2016 is quickly being sidelined by the Senate's probe, but don't ask the White House, which believes the issue is settled. Karen Pence's role as her husband's confidante gets a closer look. And Kushner faces rare fire.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Congress Guts Internet Rule on Privacy, Giving Providers Right to Snoop for Data
Under a proposed change heading for President Donald Trump’s desk, broadband providers would be allowed monitor how customers use the internet and sell the data to advertisers [McClatchy]

Hillary Clinton Says She's Back: 'I Will Never Stop Speaking Out'
TIME's Katy Steinmetz on Clinton's first major appearance since the election

GOP on Reviving Obamacare Repeal: Lots of Talk, No Action
Beneath the public pronouncements about not giving up, the party is still deeply divided. [Politico]

U.S. Government Watchdog to Review Mar-a-Lago Trips, Trump Hotel Profits
Findings could be embarrassing to administration [Reuters]

Trump Administration Sought to Block Sally Yates From Testifying to Congress on Russia
White House now "hopes" she testifies [Washington Post]

Sound Off

"I know that we are all going to make a deal on health care. That's such an easy one. I have no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly." — President Trump to a bipartisan group of Senators Tuesday night just days after the GOP healthcare bill failed

"If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection." — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Tuesday

Bits and Bites

Trump to Meet With Cohn on Thursday to Discuss Tax Overhaul, Sources Say [Bloomberg]

Lawmakers Ask President Trump to Reimburse Palm Beach for Mar-a-Lago Visits [TIME]

Jeb Bush: Trump should ‘stop saying things that aren’t true’ [Miami Herald]

Karen Pence is the vice president’s ‘prayer warrior,’ gut check and shield [Washington Post]

Ann Romney: "I will be the first one down lobbying against" Trump NIH cuts [Yahoo]

Kushner, taking new White House role, faces rare scrutiny [Associated Press]

9/11 families seek Justice Department probe of Saudi lobbying that enlisted U.S. veterans [Yahoo]

Ex-Trump Aide Manafort Bought New York Homes With Cash [NBC]

Texas A&M's First Gay Student Body President Has a Message for Rick Perry [TIME]

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