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Photo: Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is expected to decide in the next several days whether to present the White House's Middle East peace plan before Israel's March 2 elections, Israeli and U.S. sources told me.

Why it matters: If the plan is presented before the Israeli elections, it could influence the campaign and possibly provide a boost to embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If Trump decides to wait, it could become difficult to present the plan at a later stage because of the presidential campaign in the U.S.

Behind the scenes: There have been intense deliberations over the past several days among the Trump advisers tasked with dealing with this issue. Trump himself still hasn’t had a discussion with his team on whether to present the plan before the Israeli elections.

Israeli and U.S. sources tell me Trump’s decision will be influenced by several factors:

  • Developments in the impeachment process in Congress.
  • The meetings Trump and his senior adviser Jared Kushner will have with different leaders from the Middle East and Europe during the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, where the peace plan will be one of the topics raised.
  • Kushner is expected to travel from Davos to Jerusalem on Wednesday to participate in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, where he is likely to meet Netanyahu and his political opponent Benny Gantz — the leader of the Blue and White party — and discuss the peace plan.

Between the lines: Netanyahu wants the White House to present the plan in order to shift the focus of his campaign away from his corruption cases. Gantz wants the White House to wait and has even argued that releasing the peace plan ahead of the elections would amount to electoral interference.

White House officials told me Trump still hasn’t made a decision, but didn't deny that one could be coming soon.

Go deeper: Netanyahu faces new political headwinds ahead of election

Go deeper

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

CBC members nix border visit

A Haitian migrant carries a toddler on his shoulders today as he crosses the Rio Grande River. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus weighed visiting the U.S.-Mexico border this week to investigate the conditions faced by Haitian migrants and protest allegations of inhumane treatment by U.S. agents.

Why it matters: It's a thorny proposition both in terms of timing and messaging. Going assures a new wave of negative headlines for President Biden amid sinking popularity. And with congressional deadlines in the coming days over infrastructure, a possible government shutdown and debt-limit crisis, Democrats can't afford to lose any votes in the House.

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