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Donald and Ivanka Trump at a White House meeting last week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump continues to advocate internally for a paid family leave policy — though conservatives inside the administration have told me she's getting some high-level blowback.

In conversations with associates, John Kelly has dismissively described paid family leave as one of Ivanka's "pet projects" and said he doesn't understand how it fits into the White House's agenda.

  • What's next: A White House official told me this tension came to a head a few weeks ago. The official told me the issue is being "hammered out internally" and Kelly approved a policy process to work through the issue.
  • To be fair to Ivanka, paid family leave is not a rogue endeavor, even though much of the White House considers it a non-starter. I'm told she coordinates any meeting she has on Capitol Hill with the White House's Office of Legislative Affairs.
  • And while the idea looks dead on arrival to me, some conservatives on the Hill have left the door ajar. When the ultra conservative House Freedom Caucus chairman, Mark Meadows, says he doesn't rule something out, then it's probably unwise to do so. Some other conservatives, including high-profile senators Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Joni Ernst, have also come out in support of paid family leave.

Go deeper

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.

6 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
8 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.