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Andrew Harnik / AP

They're playing tough in public — it's called negotiating — but privately, senior White House officials are in no mood to get into a knock-down-drag-out fight over government funding.

The government runs out of money April 29, and the White House has less fire in its belly than it might seem from media reports. Around a week and a half ago, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney "came in a little hot" in setting terms of negotiations with appropriators, according to a Senate source familiar with the meeting. Mulvaney said Trump needed language in the bill to cut funding to sanctuary cities.

The reality, according to three well-placed sources: These words are fairly toothless.

  • Behind-the-scenes: If Trumpcare 1.0 hadn't been such a mishandled flop, the administration might be willing to pick real funding fights over sanctuary cities or Planned Parenthood. But with healthcare still unresolved, the White House can't risk another calamity like a shutdown. The administration will be happy to claim a couple of "victories" — like boosted military spending and border security money, if not specifically for the bricks-and-mortar wall — and then move on as quickly as possible.
  • The wildcard: Chuck Schumer has plenty of leverage and won't concede anything of value to Trump in the negotiations; but he's the predictable one. Top sources in the House and Senate tell me their much bigger concern is the Freedom Caucus. If these ultra-conservative House members come back from recess and ask for things leadership can't deliver — like defunding Planned Parenthood or cutting the payments to Obamacare insurers — then leadership and the White House will have a new crisis on their hands.

Go deeper

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.

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