RYAN and PENCE race to save health care plan — DINA POWELL to be deputy nat’l sec advisor — PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl — SPOTTED at Wilbur Ross’ party — B’DAY: Amy Shuster

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Good Thursday morning. It’s the budget day and the greatest day on the sports calendar: the NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicks off. We expect productivity on Capitol Hill and across the city to slow down as folks turn off C-SPAN and turn on the games. If you haven’t registered for the Playbook Pool, you have until 11:45 a.m. http://bit.ly/2mBRTNX

BULLETIN at 6:53 a.m.: “LONDON (AP) – Britain’s Brexit bill receives royal assent, freeing government to start formal exit process.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP spent time yesterday doing what he loves best — rallying the public — while Vice President Mike Pence spent the day selling the health care bill on Capitol Hill. The effort was classic Pence: reassure Republican lawmakers that Trump is in it for the long haul and that he is ready to fight to the bitter end for not only phase one of the health care overhaul, but also the yet unwritten phase two and phase three. In a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, Pence said Trump is “standing shoulder to shoulder with you” and is “spoiling for a flight,” according to a GOP leadership aide.

THEIR ROLES ARE CLEARLY DIVIDED. While Pence is playing the inside game, Trump plans is taking his message out to the states. Pence said Trump can’t wait to go to the 10 states he won where there are Democratic senators.

THE ONLY PLAY RIGHT NOW is to get this bill through the House. The Senate is going to drastically change the legislation — some think it will never get through the other chamber. So Ryan and the White House’s focus at this point is how to get it through the House. The White House legislative liaison team — which works out of an office next to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s first-floor suite — is crawling through the Capitol, monitoring committee markups and making sure members are taken care of. Whatever passes the House is almost certainly never going to become law. This bill will be changed.

HERE IS WHAT IS HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES. Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership are working primarily with OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, Andrew Bremberg (head of the Domestic Policy Council) and HHS Secretary Tom Price to work out kinks in the bill. Meanwhile, Pence on Wednesday met with every major faction in the House: the moderate Tuesday Group, the conservative Republican Study Committee and the entire GOP conference at 6 p.m. Lots of energy is being spent on the House Freedom Caucus, the group of several dozen conservatives which is skeptical of Ryan’s plan. The White House is working directly with the GOP leadership trying to solve some of the Freedom Caucus’s issues. Paul Teller, the former Ted Cruz aide who is Trump’s liaison to conservatives, attended the HFC’s meeting Wednesday night, and has been a frequent figure in their world.

TO SOLVE SOME CONCERNS, the plan is to craft a so-called manager’s amendment — a package of changes to the health care bill, which could pass alongside the main piece of legislation. It’s essentially a mechanism to change the bill on the floor. The key for GOP leadership is to keep the bill palatable for conservatives and the moderate middle of the caucus — a balance that will be tough to strike. The GOP leadership has already sent some proposed changes to the Congressional Budget Office to begin judging their impact on the overall price tag of the legislation. McCarthy, the House majority leader, on Wednesday night announced that they would accelerate the third “phase” of repeal and replace, by voting on a package of health care changes next week instead of later this year.

BUT THE FREEDOM CAUCUS is still sending signals it’s skeptical. Members huddled Wednesday night with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). And Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a leader of the group, penned a WSJ op-ed with Cruz with the headline: “Three Criteria for Health Reform: The House repeal-and-replace plan doesn’t go far enough,” essentially calling Republicans to start over. http://on.wsj.com/2nHLeyi

THIS WILL ALL COME TO A HEAD NEXT WEEK. That’s when Republican leadership expects to put the health-care replacement bill to a vote. Here’s how one senior Republican sees the situation: “Despite the grumbling, the issues being debated are relatively small and easily addressed before the bill hits the floor. Getting this done remains entirely in our control. With leaders accepting changes from the White House and the president fully engaged, there’s no reason this can’t get across the finish line. The Vice President made clear last night that the full weight of the White House will be behind this plan. Everyone understands that failing here is a huge setback for the rest of the agenda, so we’re all in to get it done.”

REMEMBER: they have little room for error. More than 20 defections will kill this bill, and they are getting close to that number. AND… If the White House takes its foot off the gas here, legislating over the next few years will become nearly impossible. Trump needs this victory to show that, when his White House is engaged, it can win.

IMPORTANT MOMENT — ANNIE KARNI NOTES: Last night the cable networks did not cover the totality of the Trump rally in Nashville. They cut into it when he made news about the travel ban, but, for the first time in a long time, stuck to their original programming. DOES THAT MEAN… that the cable nets are taking Sean Spicer’s briefings, but not the president’s rallies?! Or, is this a sign of more judicious programming of Trump and his administration?

ABOUT LAST NIGHT … THE LOCAL TAKE — THE TENNESSEAN — “Trump in Nashville: ‘Time for us to embrace our glorious national destiny,'” by Dave Boucher, Joey Garrison and Joel Ebert: “President Donald Trump touted his first two months in office as the most productive ever for a president and compared himself to President Andrew Jackson during a raucous rally Wednesday in Nashville that resembled the campaign that catapulted him into office.

“Drawing roars from the thousands in attendance, Trump slammed a Hawaii federal judge’s decision from earlier in the day that temporarily halted the administration’s new attempt to ban much travel from six majority Muslim countries…. ‘The order blocked was a watered-down version of the first order.’ ‘This ruling makes us look weak, which we no longer are.’

“Trump vowed to fight for his travel ban, appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary while floating the idea of reissuing the original ban. That order barred travel from seven majority Muslim countries and was already halted by two judicial orders. … Leading up to Trump’s speech, health care had been expected to be the focus, but he didn’t approach the issue until nearly a half-hour into his remarks. ‘The bill that I will ultimately sign will get rid of Obamacare and make health care better for you and your family,’ Trump said.” http://tnne.ws/2m4g3Rh

HAPPENING TODAY — Today is the Friends of Ireland lunch on Capitol Hill — one of the hardest tickets of the year for members of Congress. TRUMP and PENCE both attend the lunch, which Speaker Paul Ryan puts on. TRUMP is speaking at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in the White House this evening. PENCE is swearing in his fellow Indianan Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, and then will be back on Capitol Hill, holding meetings with lawmakers.

ALWAYS BE SELLING — “Ryan, Pence race to salvage Obamacare repeal amid GOP dissent,” by Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney: “House GOP leaders scrambled Wednesday to muster support for their plan to replace Obamacare, even as Speaker Paul Ryan conceded for the first time that the bill would need further changes to placate conservatives threatening to sink the package. Ryan and his allies spent Wednesday floating the potential modifications — at the request of the White House — to members. They’re trying to gauge if the amendments could win over skeptical conservatives without repelling moderates, who are wary of political blowback if the bill moves too far to the right.

“After weeks of suggesting that only minor modifications would be acceptable, Ryan told reporters his team would incorporate changes to their proposal this week. His suggestion came as his Republican whip operation tested the initial support for the House measure among the GOP conference. Meanwhile, members of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus declared that they believed they had enough commitments from their own allies to kill any attempt by Republican leaders to ram through the current bill without significant changes. They said that they intend to present to leadership an amendment on Friday that they say could unite conservatives and moderates.” http://politi.co/2nHzP1k

— “Cotton vs. Ryan: Battle of the GOP bigwigs,” by Burgess Everett and Rachael Bade: http://politi.co/2mvrs81

DEM BRAIN DUMP — Democrats are starting to hone in on their health care messaging. One Senate Democratic leadership aide tells us that Dems are going to talk a whole lot more about how there aren’t going to be “phases” of replacing the bill, and Republicans are going to have to own what they vote for in this bill.

“IF REPUBLICANS SINGLEHANDEDLY destroy the health care system, Democrats are not going to be lining up to give them a lifeline, and even if they did, Republicans would have to move the bill to the left to get 60 votes in the Senate,” the aide said. “Any Republicans who support Trumpcare on hopes of future phases or sidecars is fooling themselves.”

A MAJOR SETBACK FOR TRUMP — NYT A1, “Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Latest Travel Ban Nationwide,” by Alex Burns: “A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam. The ruling was the second major setback for Mr. Trump in his pursuit of a policy he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle halted it.

“Mr. Trump issued a new and narrower travel ban, affecting six countries, on March 6, trying to satisfy the courts by removing some of the most contentious elements of the original version. But in a pointed decision that repeatedly invoked Mr. Trump’s public comments, the judge, Derrick K. Watson of Federal District Court in Honolulu, wrote that a ‘reasonable, objective observer’ would view even the new order as ‘issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.’ Mr. Trump lashed out at Judge Watson during a campaign-style rally in Nashville late on Wednesday. Raising his voice to a hoarse shout, Mr. Trump accused the judge of ruling ‘for political reasons’ and criticized the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the earlier decision against his administration and will hear any appeal to the Hawaii ruling.” http://nyti.ms/2nHPBcH

TRUMP’S WORLD — “Trump federal budget 2018: Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor,” by WaPo’s Damian Paletta and Steven Mufson: “President Trump on Thursday will unveil a budget plan that calls for a sharp increase in military spending and stark cuts across much of the rest of the government including the elimination of dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor, fund scientific research and aid America’s allies abroad. Trump’s first budget proposal, which he named ‘America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,’ would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“It would also propose eliminating future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated. The cuts could represent the widest swath of reductions in federal programs since the drawdown after World War II, probably leading to a sizable cutback in the federal non-military workforce, something White House officials said was one of their goals.” http://wapo.st/2nda9No

— “Trump wants $4.1 billion for border wall,” by Ted Hesson: “The Trump administration proposes to kick-start construction of a border wall with $4.1 billion in spending through 2018, an official said Wednesday. Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the president would request $1.5 billion in a supplemental spending bill and $2.6 billion in his fiscal year 2018 budget. The combined $4.1 billion in spending is considerably greater than previous estimates on a down payment for the wall, but well short of its estimated total cost of $22 billion.” http://politi.co/2n25KMQ

— IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE: A president’s budget is more of a wish list than anything else. Budgets cannot be enacted into law and this might not get any votes in the House or Senate. But it is an important bellwether for how Trump and his team view the federal budget and government spending. Trump has long said that he would force Mexico to foot the bill for his border wall. But as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week: “Uh, no.” That’s not happening.

INSIDE 1600 PENN — “Wherever Trump goes, his gang of aides stays close by: Preoccupied with proximity, the president’s senior staff have developed an unusual habit of crowding into meetings and joining trips,” by Annie Karni and Josh Dawsey: “When President Donald Trump boarded Air Force One on Wednesday morning to travel to Michigan and Tennessee, he didn’t wing it alone: His entire senior West Wing staff traveled with him. Accompanying the president out of town on his daylong tour were senior adviser Jared Kushner, strategist Steve Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus, counselor Kellyanne Conway, senior aide Hope Hicks, press secretary Sean Spicer and policy adviser Stephen Miller. It’s a dynamic that’s been in place since Trump took office — wherever the president goes, the gang’s always all there with him. … But the constant presence of Trump’s senior aides also reflects their desire not to lose their standing in Trump’s complicated orbit — or to let others in.” http://politi.co/2mwkXmb

PAGING MOSCOW — “UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: ‘We Should Never Trust Russia,’” by NBC News’ Jane Timm: “In her first interview as United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley said Wednesday that the threat of Russia shouldn’t be taken lightly. ‘Take it seriously. We cannot trust Russia. We should never trust Russia,’ she told NBC News’ Matt Lauer, taking a harsher stance than President Donald Trump, who has suggested that the United States and Russia might have friendlier relations under his administration. Her remarks come in response to a question from Lauer hours after the Justice Department charged Russian intelligence officers for a sweeping criminal conspiracy that hacked 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014.” http://nbcnews.to/2mRKlFv

— “John McCain: Rand Paul ‘Is Now Working for Vladimir Putin,’” by The Daily Beast’s Andrew Kirell: http://thebea.st/2ncYP3W


–DANIEL SHAPIRO, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, has signed on with the Harry Walker Agency for public speaking. He has also joined ION Asset Management as a senior adviser.

— BARRY W. LYNN, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, has announced that he will retire at the end of the year after 25 years at the organization.

— SAMANTHA BEE is making good on her promise to host counterprogramming for this year’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner. The comedian’s event at DAR Constitution Hall starts at 1 p.m. on April 29 promises “Bottomless Cocktails and Assloads of Fancy Fingerfoods” and is going to be followed by a taping of her show.

— THE DNC has announced its “transition advisory committee” that is being co-chaired by veteran Democratic Party strategist Leah Daughtry and Chris Lu, former deputy secretary of Labor. The full list http://bit.ly/2mM860b

— “Dina Powell to be named Trump’s deputy national security adviser,” by Tara Palmeri and Ben White: http://politi.co/2m3I9fu

POLITICO BREAKING NEWS ALERTS — Sign-up for breaking news alerts and stay informed on the latest big events. One-click signup http://politi.co/2mvupFx

SCOOP — NOT A GOOD LOOK — “Freshman lawmaker linked to company accused of million-dollar marketing scam,” by Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan: “Freshman Rep. Brian Mast is linked to a Florida marketing company under investigation by federal regulators for allegedly pocketing millions of dollars in a patent scam. World Patent Marketing and its owner, Scott J. Cooper, are accused by the Federal Trade Commission of defrauding thousands of clients in the last few years to the tune of millions of dollars, and then harassing customers who threatened to report the scam. Mast, a Republican and military veteran who represents part of Palm Beach County, was named a member of the company’s advisory board in February 2016, shortly before Cooper donated more than $5,000 to Mast’s election campaign.

“In an interview, Mast insisted he had only met Cooper face-to-face on two occasions — including a party last month celebrating the freshman lawmaker’s victory — and did not know where Cooper obtained footage of him used in a promotional video for the firm. Mast also said Cooper did not have his permission to use his image. Mast said he never received compensation from the company and did not know about the press release announcing his appointment to the advisory board before it was published. ‘[Cooper] was somebody who was introduced to me,’ Mast said. ‘I was aware that I became a member of a board through a press release someone else sent to me. I didn’t even know.’” http://politi.co/2mvBvdl

CABINET WATCH — “Trump Officials Are Learning How Hard It Is to Sell $1 Billion of Their Assets,” by WSJ’s Jean Eaglesham and Ryan Dezember: “Members of Donald Trump’s cabinet are obliged to sell more than $1 billion worth of assets to prevent conflicts of interest, a process that is proving difficult and time-consuming. A Wall Street Journal review of those needed sales shows almost three-quarters of the total is held in illiquid assets such as real estate, closely held companies and stakes in private-equity funds, likely extending the time necessary to unwind the positions. The process is leaving some Trump administration officials facing potential restrictions on the work they can do until the sales are completed, under rules requiring them to recuse themselves from issues that might benefit them financially. Some of the assets being sold involve investments in industries that cabinet members are now charged with overseeing.” http://on.wsj.com/2mvBndH

HMM — “Nazi-Allied Group Claims Top Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka As Sworn Member,” by Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses in The Forward: “Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been ‘under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany’ during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward. The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. … Gorka — who Vitézi Rend leaders say took a lifelong oath of loyalty to their group — did not respond to multiple emails sent to his work and personal accounts, asking whether he is a member of the Vitézi Rend and, if so, whether he disclosed this on his immigration application and on his application to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2012.” http://bit.ly/2ndbwffBayer’s earlier Forward scoop on Gorka, “Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary” http://bit.ly/2nI8sUR

HACK ATTACK — “Two Russian Spies Charged in Massive Yahoo Hack,” by WSJ’s Aruna Viswanatha and Robert McMillan: “Russian government spies were behind Yahoo Inc.’s notorious 2014 security breach, stealing information about more than a half billion online accounts, including those used by U.S. military officials and by employees of firms in banking, finance and transportation, federal authorities said Wednesday. The Justice Department announced the indictments of Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, alleging they directed and paid for the illegal collection of information in the U.S. and abroad. It is the first such criminal case to directly target Russia. The case is expected to escalate tensions between the U.S. and Russia over cybercrime and espionage. Congress and federal investigators are probing what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as aggressive efforts by Russia to influence the 2016 election, which it has denied.” http://on.wsj.com/2nd5Ba1

FOR YOUR RADAR — “Dutch PM Rutte fends off far-right’s Wilders,” by Reuters’ Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling in Amsterdam: “Dutch center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte fought off the challenge of anti-Islam and anti-EU rival Geert Wilders to score an election victory that was hailed across Europe on Thursday by governments facing a rising wave of nationalism. The euro gained as the results of Wednesday’s vote showed a clear win for Rutte, albeit with fewer seats than in the last parliament. He declared it an ‘evening in which the Netherlands, after Brexit, after the American elections, said ‘stop’ to the wrong kind of populism.’” http://reut.rs/2mRPH3F

— @carlbildt, former Swedish prime minister: “Is there an anti-Trump wave in Europe? Yes, that seems to be the case. Saw it in Austria. Stronger in Netherlands.”

OBAMA ALUMNI — “Rex Tillerson’s Dangerous Silence,” by Stephen Krupin, John Kerry’s former traveling speechwriter and policy advisor at State, in NYMag: “Legislatures codify their policy in laws and amendments. Courts issue opinions that set judicial precedent. Foreign policy is a more subtle art. Outside of a major treaty, diplomacy is rarely dictated by anything resembling legislation, rulings, or executive orders. Instead, diplomats’ words are their policies. … Secretary Rex Tillerson’s unnerving silence as America’s chief diplomat reveals a corollary to the rule I was reminded about on 23rd Street: Every word you don’t say speaks just as loudly as those you do. Tillerson has been less vocal and less forthcoming than his predecessors in his first weeks on the job.” http://nym.ag/2mM22Fb

THE OPPOSITION — JOE KENNEDY sat down for a POLITICO “PULSE CHECK” podcast to discuss how Democrats can help stall GOP health bill. The Massachusetts congressman, who was Democrats’ breakout star of last week’s 27-hour House Energy & Commerce Committee markup, tells POLITICO’s Dan Diamond that the all-night resistance wasn’t a stunt — it was to create a megaphone. The podcast http://bit.ly/2n2dn5M


Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association Stephen Ubl is facing his biggest challenge yet — a possible overhaul of the health care system. PhRMA hasn’t taken an official position on the Republicans’ health care plan. It’s unclear if the lobbying group will formally support or oppose the final bill. But, Ubl said, “No one should question our resolve to oppose policies that don’t enhance the private market and we’ve been quite outspoken on Medicare negotiations for example or importation.”

PhRMA SUPPORTS GOP OVERHAUL EFFORTS: “We’re supportive of their efforts to move the system towards more choice and competition stabilizing the marketplace and creating more autonomy in terms of states shaping the insurance markets.”

POSITIVE INTERACTION WITH TRUMP W.H.: “[We] found a lot of common ground around improvements that can be made at the FDA that can make that process much more efficient, to speed break-through treatments to patients. We talked about trade agreements and the need for stronger bilateral agreements to protect our industry’s intellectual property and American jobs at the same time.”

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS NEEDED: “You want to create a system where a company or an entrepreneur wants to eat [pharmaceutical executive] Martin Shkreli’s lunch, but it’s hard to do that if it takes several years to get through the approval process. Similarly, we appreciate and understand the pricing model in our industry needs to evolve. We want to move towards a system of outcomes based arrangements. We have to acknowledge not all patients respond the same way to medicine.”

VALLEY TALK — “Fury Road: Did Uber Steal Google’s Driverless Future,” by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Max Chafkin and Mark Bergen: “Uber has faced a number of scandals recently. But none of them has the potential financial impact of the one Uber has said the least about: a lawsuit from Alphabet Inc.—the parent of Google and Google’s self-driving car division, now called Waymo—over driverless cars. Waymo says Uber is in possession of, and is basing the future of its business on, technology that was stolen by a former employee.” http://buswk.co/GoogleUber

MEDIAWATCH — FIRST IN POLITICO — JOHN HUDSON to BuzzFeed: Per Hadas Gold: Hudson, most recently of Foreign Policy, is joining BuzzFeed as its foreign affairs correspondent. He’ll focus on State Department and diplomacy and the U.S. relationship with the world, BuzzFeed world editor Miriam Elder said in a note to staff. Hudson starts April 4. Hudson’s recent reporting has included scoops on a string of Trump personnel appointments as well as news of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s secret and controversial trip to Syria.

–“Walter Isaacson Is Getting Into Podcasting With a Series About Technology,” by AdWeek’s Lauren Johnson: “Dell Technologies’ new six-part podcast series called ‘Trailblazers’ … launches today … [The podcast is] hosted by journalist Walter Isaacson, who is known within the tech world for writing the eponymous biography of Steve Jobs in 2011. In ‘Trailblazers,’ Isaacson tells the stories and history behind technology’s impact on business.” http://bit.ly/2nqtlrDSubscribe http://apple.co/2ndahwr

–MIRANDA GREEN is starting in two weeks as a political writer at CNN with their digital team; she has spent the last three years as a political reporter at Scripps.

–“Fox News to launch primetime series focused on rise of populism,” by Kelsey Sutton: “Steve Hilton, the pro-Brexit campaigner and ex-confidante of former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, will host a weekend primetime Fox News show focusing on the rise of populism in the U.S. and around the world.” http://politi.co/2m3Hmew

LAST NIGHT ON BROADWAY — “Justin Trudeau Brings Ivanka Trump to Broadway Show on Welcoming Outsiders,” by NYT’s Michael Paulson: http://nyti.ms/2mRRsxI

SPOTTED last night at Café Milano, intensely engaged at a table: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and journalists Steve Clemons and Margaret Carlson. Mingling with them was actress and West Virginian Jennifer Garner, Mark Shriver and Jeannie Ripp … Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last night at the Shakespeare Theater Company production of “The Sun Also Rises.” She celebrated her birthday with a bottle of champagne at intermission … Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate for HHS Secretary Tom Price’s vacated House seat, outside Bullfeathers last night. He held a fundraiser at the Marvin … Mark Cuban working out yesterday at Equinox at the Ritz Carlton (before his interview with Jake Tapper — video http://cnn.it/2mMl0v0) … Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.) on American Airlines flight from Manchester to DCA on Wednesday morning … Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Chief of Staff Maura Keefe having dinner with Secretary Madeleine Albright last night at Charlie Palmer.

OUT AND ABOUT – Pool report from a Welcome to Washington party for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: “Lally Weymouth applied her mom Katherine Graham’s D.C. cocktail party power scene DNA muscle for a ‘welcome to D.C.’ party for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Brother Donald Graham and wife Amanda Bennett as well as iconic White House GOP mainstay C. Boyden Gray get marks as co-hosts for big nudges and the provision of Ambassador Gray’s phenomenal Georgetown digs.”

SPOTTED: Lloyd Blankfein, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell, Elaine Chao, Catherine and Wayne Reynolds, Fred and Genevieve Ryan, Marty Baron, Robert Lighthizer, Daniel Yergin, Javier Palomarez, Paul Atkins, Angela Stent, Alex Yergin, Margaret Carlson, Fred Kempe, Steve Clemons, Jane Harman, Jordan Ambassador to the U.S. Dina Kawar, Singapore Ambassador to the U.S. Ashok Mirpuri, Robert and Elena Allbritton, Gen. H.R. McMaster, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jerry Seib,Toby Cosgrove, Rod Rosenstein, Bret and Amy Baier, and Josh Bolten.

–Friends and colleagues of the NYT’s Jennifer Steinhauer last night celebrated the release of her new cookbook, co-written with Frank Bruni, “A Meatloaf in Every Kitchen.” Guests gathered at Barrel’s basement bar, where they snacked on meatloaf bites (based on Sen. Susan Collins’ recipe, included in the book) and the house mac and cheese. $12.73 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2nd6Wh7 SPOTTED: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.), Carl Hulse, Sheryl Stolberg, Matt Flegenheimer, Paul Kane, Kelsey Snell, Alex Bolton, Frank Thorp, Burgess Everett, Seung Min Kim, Kristina Peterson, Doug Heye, Kevin Smith, Scott Mulhauser, Matt House, Gerry Petrella, Antonia Ferrier, Joel Seidman, Alex and Caitlin Conant, Tony Fratto

–SPOTTED last night at Hawk & Dove: White House and RNC staff celebrating the accomplishments of RNC events duo Casey Smith and Anne Marie Frawley. Making an appearance a table away was Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). Also spotted across the restaurant: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

TRANSITIONS — ALEXIS WILLIAMS has been promoted to vice president of POLITICO’s live journalism division, POLITICO Live. “Alexis has built the POLITICO events infrastructure from the ground-up, bringing her business expertise and passion for curating news making experiences to POLITICO; she has successfully executed hundreds of headline-grabbing events that drive the conversation with one of the world’s most influential audiences,” said Poppy MacDonald, President of POLITICO. The full memo http://politi.co/2nd9Bax

— GPS Impact hired Julia Rosen as the firm’s digital strategy and analytics director. She was previously director of marketing at ActBlue. http://bit.ly/2mLNGV9 … Capitol Counsel hired former Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-La.), M.D, as partner in its D.C. office. He will focus on health care, tax, and trade issues. http://politi.co/2mvoEHW

–Global Strategy Group has named Julie Hootkin and Jim Papa partners. Hootkin runs the firm’s Corporate and Public Affairs Research practice; Papa heads GSG’s DC office.

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Amy Shuster, coordinating producer at MSNBC dayside – she’s celebrating with dinner at Chumley’s in NYC — read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2nqEV5U

BIRTHDAYS: Jeff Nussbaum, partner at West Wing Writers and the pride of Weston, Mass. (h/t colleague Clare Doody) … AP’s Julie Pace … Art Collins, founding and managing partner at theGROUP … Jason Rosenbaum, HRC, DSCC and DCCC alum, rainmaker and bon vivant … Andy Lewin, principal at the Podesta Group and a Kansas Jayhawk (h/ts Jon Haber) … Rebecca Coffman, comms. director at Concerned Veterans for America, a Freedom Partners, RNC and Generation Opportunity alum, and the pride of Franklin Lakes, NJ (h/t Ali Pardo) … Patrick Appel, editor in chief of Traffic magazine and a Politico and Andrew Sullivan alum, is 33 … Denis Sgouros, the pride of Baltimore, who always manages to snatch weirdness from the jaws of victory (h/ts Nihal Krishan and Chris Lydon) … WaPo’s Dalton Bennett … Alex Stabler, who works in strategy at PR agency 42west and is a Glover Park Group alum … WaPo’s Ellen McCarthy … Eric Avram, VP for talent, booking and ABC News specialized units at Disney/ABC Television Group … Obama WH alum Darren Martin …Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) is 54 … Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) is 55 (h/t Lauren French) … former Citigroup CEO and chairman Sanford I. “Sandy” Weill is 84 … NYC tax attorney and litigator Stuart A. Smith is 76 … Jordana Cutler, head of policy and comms at Facebook’s Israel office, previously Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in DC (h/ts Jewish Insider) …

… The Atlantic’s Kaveh Waddell … Kevin Varney, former Clinton and Obama administration official, and now COS for gov’t operations at Boeing (h/t Tom O’Donnell) … Riccardo Reati, VP for strategic initiatives at Zurich Insurance in Chicago … Patrick Murphy, owner of 3 Click Solutions … Brian Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle … Kate Brown, CEO and founder of Buzz by Brown, and a Foreign Policy and New America alum … Gary Emerling, AME for news at U.S. News … Brian Young, a Fox News and ABC alum, is 5-0 … Mike Enzi alum Elly Pickett … Kathy Prendergast … Neil Romano … Ky Griffin … Carl Holshauser … Tom McDonough … Jim McCray … Kimmie Lipscomb of Morgan Stanley … Christopher Swift is 41 … Maura Brueger … Seth Boffeli … Jed Hastings (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … William Payne, general counsel for Sen. Hatch, is 29 … Murat Gokcigdem, COS for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson … Darren Martin … comedian-director Jerry Lewis is 91 (h/t AP) … Erik Estrada is 67 … Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 58 (h/ts Sara and Ron Bonjean)

Source Link: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/playbook/2017/03/ryan-and-pence-race-to-save-health-care-plan-dina-powell-to-be-deputy-natl-sec-advisor-playbook-interview-phrma-ceo-stephen-ubl-spotted-at-wilbur-ross-party-bday-amy-shuster-219247

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