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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

Updated 37 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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