Axios
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Trump v Obamacare's individual mandate

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump's Friday night executive order may not do a lot in itself, but it sure looked like it was aimed at the individual mandate.

Sure enough: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested on Sunday that it was one of the main targets. When George Stephanopoulos asked her on ABC's This Week whether Trump would stop enforcing the mandate, Conway said "he may" — and that Trump wants to get rid of it "almost immediately."

So yes, Trump would like to stop enforcing it quickly — but how quickly can that actually happen?

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Trump gears up for first week as POTUS

Alex Brandon / AP

  • Executive orders: Subjects include trade, immigration, government hiring, Obamacare and a lobbying ban, as Axios noted yesterday.
  • High-profile meetings: Top executives at 9 a.m. today to discuss manufacturing, and British PM Theresa May on Friday.
  • Cabinet votes: Mike Pompeo, slated to head the CIA, should get a vote today. White House officials expect at least three more Cabinet nominees — Ben Carson, Nikki Haley and Rick Perry — to be voted on by the end of the week, per the WSJ. And while Tillerson may not get a vote this week, Graham and McCain are now on board.
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Shinzo Abe: I trust Trump

Koji Sasahara / AP

"I believe President Trump understands the importance of free and fair trade, so I'd like to pursue his understanding on the strategic and economic importance of the TPP trade pact... [W]hen we met last time, I believed him to be trustworthy, this belief has not changed today."
— Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to his Parliament's lower house
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Grassley hasn't forgotten about prescription drug prices

Cliff Owen / AP

Sen. Chuck Grassley has been one of the most consistent Republicans speaking out against rising prescription drug prices. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he plans to push legislation this year making it easier for generics to get to market. He's hoping that will add competition and drive down prices.

What to know:

  • Grassley sees his two bills increasing competition as likely to gain some traction, but he doesn't see the same odds for legislation allowing prescription drugs to be imported from abroad.
  • Drug price legislation could be wrapped into the Obamacare debate if it saves money and helps pay for the replacement, he said.

Read more for excerpts from our interview.

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Hot in Silicon Valley: Questions swirl around Xiaomi

China's Xiaomi loses a top exec

Hugo Barra, a VP at the Chinese mobile device maker, announced on Sunday he'll be leaving the company next month and moving back to Silicon Valley after 3.5 years. Hiring him away from Google was considered a big get for Xioami at the time.

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Big in Business: Don't mess with West Texas

Jacob Ford/Odessa American / AP

The Permian Basin still matters:

Simon Lack of SL Advisors points out that even as Persian-Gulf OPEC states tried to chase American shale producers from the market following the oil-price crash of 2014, exploitation of the Permian Basin in West Texas remained a profitable, and the location is home to nearly half of the active rigs in America today.

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Trump to add another Breitbart hire

Breitbart's immigration reporter Julia Hahn is set to join the White House team, a source with direct knowledge tells Axios. Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon recruited her and she'll likely work under him as an adviser on policy issues like trade and immigration and on the speechwriting team. Politico first reported the news.

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Big IF true: Trump not thrilled with Spicer debut

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

NYT reports WH spokesman Sean Spicer's performance before the press yesterday, where he combatively said media reports about inaugural crowds were false and then didn't take question, has earned the ire of the president.

[H]is appearance, according to the people familiar with Mr. Trump's thinking, went too far, in the president's opinion. — New York Times

NYT's Maggie Haberman says Spicer may have been set up:

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Trump relative was at the D.C. Women's March

Among those spotted in the Washington, D.C. Women's March crowd yesterday was Joshua Kushner, the brother of top Trump advisor (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner.



Sources close to Kushner tell Axios that he's in D.C. supporting his brother, who officially starts work at the White House today, and that he was taking a walk near his hotel when the photo was taken. He also wanted to observe what the source referred to as "a peaceful form of self expression."

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Trump's first round of executive orders

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

One of the best-wired Republican lobbyists in town emails Axios previewing the initial phase of Trump executive actions:

  • Look for a possible hiring freeze at executive branch
  • 5-year lobbying ban on transition and administration officials
  • Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign NGOs from getting U.S. family planning money if they provide abortions with non-U.S. funds. (It's already illegal to use U.S dollars on abortions.)
  • Task the Defense Secretary and joint chiefs to come up with plan to eviscerate ISIS
  • Report on readiness, and something cyber security related
  • Border/immigration: Something on sanctuary cities, expand E-Verify, an extreme vetting proposal
  • Trade: Withdraw from TPP and a thorough review of NAFTA

What else we're hearing: The Mexico City executive order could come as soon as today. Also, watch for dozens of EPA executive orders coming down the pike. Says a Trump source: "EPA has clean water-related and some 30,000 foot regulatory ones lined up [immediately]...We have dozens for the EPA...Starting Monday through the month of February. We have to roll them out gradually."