POLITICO Playbook Daily Briefing



POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington.

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1199 episodes

November 30, 2023: “The complicated realities of Washington to creep in for lawmakers”

There is a lot going on on Capitol Hill, and not much time left in the year to get it all done. First, House freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Scott Perry has suggested conservatives may consider compromising on demands for steep spending cuts and accept the funding deal that contributed to the demise of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership. Sen.Tommy Tuberville, on the other hand, is looking for a way out of his extensive holdup of military promotions. Finally, members of both parties are still figuring our how to tackle the White House’s $100 billion supplemental funding request.

Nov 30
November 29, 2023: Congress and the White House butt heads on immigration

The White House and Congress are trying to find common ground on immigration, an issue President Biden has significantly struggled to gain popularity on in the past. Right now, as White House reporter Myah Ward explains, there are three areas of focus at the center of the debates. Asylum reform, safe third country restrictions, and changes to the country’s parole system are what is causing conflict, and one issue, she tells Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza, is nowhere near resolution. Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza interviews White House reporter Myah Ward.

Nov 29
November 28, 2023: Inside Hunter Biden's new strategy

The complicated life of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been capturing the attention of the media and the public for years. But it reached a new level during summer 2023 when the younger Biden  rejected a plea deal in a case related to his business dealings. As the 2024 election nears, national correspondent Betsy Woodruff Swan and Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels discuss how Hunter Biden’s team has been reevaluating both his legal approach and public image. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels interviews national correspondent Betsy Woodruff Swan.

Nov 28
November 27, 2023: Will Congress act on Israel and Ukraine aid?

After the Thanksgiving break, lawmakers return to Capitol Hill today to tackle the White House’s $100 billion supplemental funding request. The funds would be designated for aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the U.S.-Mexico border, but finding the common ground between parties needed to move the package as one will be a difficult feat. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade walks through how party leaders are handling the pressure.

Nov 27
Title: November 22, 2023: Inside the Israel-Hamas hostage deal

Qatari officials announced late Tuesday that Hamas plans to release 50 hostages in exchange for a multi-day pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel after a deal was struck between the two powers. The extensive agreement will lead to the first reprieve after six weeks of nearly nonstop aggression. National security reporter Alex Ward tells Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels that the sensitive deal was written to encourage the release of even more hostages down the road and send more aid into Gaza. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels interviews national security reporter Alex Ward.

Nov 22
November 21, 2023: Breaking down Trump’s legal battles

On Monday, a panel of three judges with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals signaled they may loosed a gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump originally imposed by the judge during his Washington, D.C. criminal trial. Senior legal affairs reporter Josh Gerstein was in the courtroom and walks Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza through what lies ahead for Trump in this case and the others with which he is currently dealing. Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza interviews  Senior legal affairs reporter Josh Gerstein.

Nov 21
November 20, 2023: Incumbent Democratic senators focus on 2024

During a slow Thanksgiving week on the Hill, attention is largely focused on the new year, when Democratic incumbents in the Senate will go full speed into campaign mode in an attempt to hang on to their seats. Few seats are more important to Senate Democrats next year than those occupied by Montana’s Jon Tester and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, who have proven they can emerge victorious even as their states go red. Republicans are also dipping their toes in the water; the NRSC is launching a new digital ad targeting Arizonans with the goal of driving them back to independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema’s camp instead of Democratic challenger Ruben Gallego’s. But could it backfire? Playbook co-author Rachael Bade walks us through. All of this, plus President Biden pardons a turkey on the South Lawn today.

Nov 20
November 17, 2023: The George Santos show enters its final act

A blistering report on Thursday from the House Ethics Committee poured jet fuel onto the efforts to oust Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from Congress. Among the many damning details: Santos allegedly spent campaign funds on Sephora, OnlyFans and cosmetic procedures like Botox. What comes next? Congress reporter Anthony Adragna talks Playbook deputy editor Zack Stanton through the coming expulsion vote Santos faces — which may be the final nail in the proverbial coffin for the congressman’s brief political career. Playbook deputy editor Zack Stanton interviews Congress reporter Anthony Adragna .

Nov 17
Title: November 16, 2023: Everyone wants to know the truth about UFOs

The truth about UFOs is out there. But what exactly do we know, and how? Unidentified flying objects — or, as they are now called, UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena) — have long captivated curious minds. But where the topic was once taboo, recent years have seen more and more mainstream discussion on the topic in Washington. That transition — and the underlying questions beneath it — is the topic of Garrett Graff’s new book, “UFO: The Inside Story of the U.S. Government’s Search for Alien Life Here ― and Out There.” Garrett joins Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to talk about that veil of secrecy, and the very real explanations that exist for at least some of the cosmic unexplained. Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza interviews Garrett Graff.

Nov 16
November 15, 2023: What to watch at Biden and Xi's meeting

President Biden is in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, where he will meet with President Xi Jinping of China. There is a lot riding on the meeting, Phelim Kine tells Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels, and not just because Biden will be on the campaign trail for the next year. Issues as varied as artificial intelligence, espionage, and fentanyl are expected to come up. And last night the House passed a funding bill to avert a government shutdown. All that, and everything else you need to know today.

Nov 15
November 14, 2023: The problem with Bidenomics

We’re less than a year from the election and the Biden campaign has to reckon with some troubling new voter insights. Extensive data conducted by the organizations Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Data for Progress found those surveyed generally lacked confidence in President Biden’s handling of the economy. But, as White House reporter Adam Cancryn tells Playbook co-author Rachael Bade, there is some nuance to these results. All that, and the rest of the news you need to know today. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade interviews White House reporter Adam Cancryn.

Nov 14
November 13, 2023: Speaker Johnson’s plan to avert government shutdown

Congress has until the end of the work week to determine, once again, how to keep the government funded. New House Speaker Mike Johnson wants to pass a continuing resolution that is going to delay funding for some government agencies until January and the rest of until the deadline in early February. The CR is clean enough that it’ll be hard for Democrats to reject the plan, Playbook co-author Rachael Bade explains. But, even some hardline Republicans are already vowing they won’t vote for it.Plus, the GOP Primary pool is down another candidate, new exclusive polling shows a comfortable win for Donald Trump in 2024, and the rest of the news you need to know today. Playbook editor Mike DeBonis interviews Playbook co-author Rachael Bade.

Nov 13
November 10, 2023: Country roads, take him home: Joe Manchin retires

Sen. Joe Manchin announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection in 2024 — news with wide-reaching 2024 implications. His seat is almost certain to flip into Republican hands, drastically complicating Democrats’ hopes of holding a majority in the chamber. But rumors abound that Manchin himself may not be done with politics just yet. Political reporter Ally Mutnick joins Rachael Bade to break down just how big a blow it is, and what role Donald Trump himself may have had in Manchin’s decision. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade interviews political reporter Ally Mutnik.

Nov 10
November 9, 2023: What mattered (and didn’t) at the GOP debate

Last night, five Republican presidential candidates took the stage in Miami for a policy-heavy debate where they clashed about everything from TikTok to Trump to taking on Hamas. National political correspondent Brakkton Booker joined Playbook co-author Rachael Bade to talk through the highs, the lows, and whether or not it all will make a difference in the long run. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade interviews National political correspondent Brakkton Booker.

Nov 09
November 8, 2023: Democrats dominate on election night

Andy Beshear secured a second term as governor of Kentucky; Democrats kept the Virginia state Senate and flipped the House; and Ohioans voted to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state Constitution. So what does all of this say about 2024? Morning Score author Madison Fernandez breaks it all down with Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels interviews Morning Score author Madison Fernandez.

Nov 08
November 7, 2023: It's Election Day! Here's what we're watching.

The 2024 presidential election may be a little less than a year away, but residents in states around the country today will cast ballots for a variety of pivotal races. There are gubernatorial contests in Kentucky and Mississippi, a referendum on abortion rights in Ohio, and a battle for control of the Virginia legislature, among other contests. As senior campaigns and elections editor Steve Shepard explains, some of today’s results may provide some insight into what we can expect next November. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels interviews senior campaigns and elections editor Steve Shepard.

Nov 07
November 6, 2023: What to watch when Trump takes the stand

Donald Trump is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan courtroom today, testifying about claims that his companies falsified documents submitted to banks and insurers to land favorable real estate loan terms. New York Attorney General Letitia James is looking to bar the former president from doing business in the state and have him pay $250 million in damages. But a chance to take the stand could give Trump another opportunity to score political points, legal reporter Erika Orden tells Playbook co-author Rachael Bade. That, plus more drama in the House even with a new speaker, and the rest of the news you need to know today. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade interviews legal reporter Erika Orden.

Nov 06
November 3, 2023: Will Ukraine money lead to new immigration fight?

A Republican-backed $14.3 billion bill to aid Israel passed the House, but is going nowhere fast in the Senate. One reason is because the bill is funded by IRS cuts, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says would add to the federal deficit over the next decade. Another  is that the bill does not contain any money for Ukraine. White House reporter Myah Ward lays out some compromises Democrats and the Biden administration may propose in order to procure the aid money. Playbook deputy editor Zack Stanton interviews White House reporter Myah Ward.

Nov 03
November 2, 2023: Tuberville v. everyone else

Republican senators pushed to confirm more than 60 military nominees Wednesday evening in a direct challenge to fellow GOP member Tommy Tuberville and his blockade on promotions — but the Alabama senator is refusing to budge. Defense reporter Connor O'Brien breaks it down with Playbook co-author Rachael Bade. All that, and the rest of the news you need to know today.

Nov 02
November 1, 2023: What we’re watching at the Global AI Summit

Over the next two days, tech giants and world leaders — including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Vice President Kamala Harris — will gather in London for a summit on artificial intelligence. Highlighting the agenda is discussions on the dangers of the evolving technology and how to regulate it. Additionally, the U.S. and U.K. are slated to announce a collaborate effort on AI safety. But already, Politico U.K. senior tech correspondent Vincent Manancourt tells Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels, a lack of international presence isn’t painting Sunak in the best light. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels interviews  Politico U.K. senior tech correspondent Vincent Manancourt.

Nov 01
October 31, 2023: Speaker Johnson's first big tests: Israel and the IRA

Speaker Mike Johnson has come out swinging in his first few days with the gavel. The newly-elected leader of the House has raised eyebrows in both parties with an announcement that he will use funds allotted to the IRS plus-up within the Inflation Reduction Act to offset 4.3 billion worth of assistance to Israel. The decision, Playbook co-author Rachael Bade explains, is leaving many Democrats in between a rock and a hard place pitting aid to Israel against plus-up funding, and may not be all that popular among some Republicans either.

Oct 31
October 30, 2023: Inside Biden's executive order on AI

In a meeting with lawmakers later today, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will talk artificial intelligence and Biden will issue an executive order expected to organize for federal agencies to monitor and find new uses for artificial intelligence technology. Vice President Kamala Harris will also travel to London this week for a summit focused on AI hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels and Playbook editor Mike DeBonis break it all down.   Playbook editor Mike DeBonis interviews Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels.

Oct 30
October 27, 2023: Inside Dean Phillips’ 2024 strategy

Today, Dean Phillips launches his presidential campaign in New Hampshire — a quixotic attempt to unseat President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary, mounted just ahead of the early state’s filing deadline. It’s a long shot. But amid  widespread concerns about Biden’s age and electability, Phillips is betting that voters will be drawn to his relative youth and outsider message. How will he make that pitch? National politics reporter Elena Schneider — who first reported on Phillips’ congressional campaign — walks Playbook deputy editor Zack Stanton through what to expect. Playbook deputy editor Zack Stanton interviews National politics reporter Elena Schneider.

Oct 27
October 26, 2023: Mike Johnson and the new center of GOP power

After a 23-day stalemate, House Republicans unanimously elected a new speaker: Rep. Mike Johnson. Now, the question being asked by much of Washington is: Mike who? We’ve got answers. Politics bureau chief and senior columnist (and noted Louisianophile) Jonathan Martin joins Playbook editor Mike DeBonis to talk through the new MAGA-aligned speaker’s background, what his ascendance tells us about the new center of power in the Republican Party and what to expect in the days and weeks ahead. Playbook editor Mike DeBonis interviews Politics bureau chief and senior columnist Jonathan Martin.

Oct 26
October 25, 2023: Trump torpedoes Tom Emmer

Donald Trump dominated headlines in Washington and around the country Tuesday. After staying mum for much of the House Speaker search process, Trump took to Truth Social to call frontrunner Tom Emmer a “globalist” and a “RINO” among other things, leading to Emmer’s decision to withdraw from consideration. The move came hours after Trump’s former campaign attorney, Jenna Ellis, pleaded guilty to a felony charge connected to election fraud in Georgia. National politics correspondent Meridith McGraw joins Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to discuss whether the former president can now be an expected part of the ongoing search for a new House Speaker. Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza interviews National Politics Correspondent Meridith McGraw

Oct 25
October 24, 2023: The House begins...again

Now in its third week, the search for a new House Speaker leads House Republicans back to a private internal conference vote to decide who of the eight candidates should be the next nominee. Congress reporter Anthony Adragna lays out for Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza what we can expect (or try to) from the Hill in the week ahead. All that, and the rest of the news you need to know today. Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza interviews Congress reporter Anthony Adragna.

Oct 24
October 23, 2023: It’s (Probably) Emmer Time

After more than two weeks and multiple failed floor votes, House Republicans have yet to elect a new speaker. Among nine declared candidates, Majority Whip Tom Emmer is most likely to win the GOP conference nomination and head to the floor. But will he be able to evade accusations that he is not in lockstep with Donald Trump? Playbook co-author Rachael Bade breaks it down.

Oct 23
October 20, 2023: Biden's big speech comes with a big price tag

Rep. Jim Jordan has a press conference at 8 a.m. and another speaker vote scheduled for 10 a.m. Will 217 members of the Republican conference back him? Unlikely — but we’ll be watching. Plus, President Biden used his Oval Office address last night to forcefully advocate for aiding both Israel and Ukraine. National security reporter Alex Ward breaks it down with Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels.

Oct 20
October 19, 2023: Looking grim for Jim

The House is still without a Speaker after Rep. Jim Jordan once again failed to receive the 217 votes necessary to secure the gavel.Rather than continuing with a second vote after the Ohio Republican’s first failed ballot on Tuesday, Jordan used the time to attempt to flip more members of his own party to yes votes. Instead, he received an additional two ‘nos’ bringing the total on Wednesday to 22. The plan for Jordan—and the entire speaker-less House going forward— is unclear, Huddle author Daniella Diaz tells Playbook Deputy Editor Zack Stanton. Plus, protestors calling for a ceasefire in Gaza sat in the Capitol as President Biden was en route back from Israel, and the different ways Democrats have chosen to address (or not address) the crisis is deepening some existing fissures within the party. Playbook Deputy Editor Zack Stanton interviews Huddle author Daniella Diaz.

Oct 19
October 18, 2023: Why Jim Jordan’s Speaker bid is teetering

After failing well short of the necessary 217 votes, Rep. Jim Jordan scrambled yesterday to rescue his campaign for House speaker. But with a whopping 20 members of his own party breaking ranks, he's got serious work to do ahead of a second floor vote scheduled for 11 a.m. today. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade and Editor Mike DeBonis discuss whether Jordan has any hope of salvaging his bid for the gavel and what might happen if he can't. Plus, a hospital attack in Gaza leaves hundreds dead and complicates President Biden’s trip to the Middle East. That, plus all the news you need to know today.

Oct 18