CEOs to move their White House talks underground

Chief executives no longer want to appear in photo-ops with President Donald Trump following his race comments about Charlottesville, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on trying to shape his agenda.

There’s simply too much money at stake with tax reform, infrastructure and health care in play — billions of dollars in a tax overhaul alone — for corporations to disengage entirely with the White House or official Washington.

So while companies will rely less on direct access to Trump through advisory councils and meetings at the White House, their advisers and lobbyists still plan to engage with top White House aides such as Vice President Mike Pence or National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, political appointees at agencies, and Congress to make their case for rolling back regulations, keeping specific tax breaks, or cutting the corporate tax rate.

This will, in effect, push corporations’ lobbying efforts more underground Continue reading “CEOs to move their White House talks underground”

CEOs to move their White House talks underground

Chief executives no longer want to appear in photo-ops with President Donald Trump following his race comments about Charlottesville, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on trying to shape his agenda.

There’s simply too much money at stake with tax reform, infrastructure and health care in play — billions of dollars in a tax overhaul alone — for corporations to disengage entirely with the White House or official Washington.

So while companies will rely less on direct access to Trump through advisory councils and meetings at the White House, their advisers and lobbyists still plan to engage with top White House aides such as Vice President Mike Pence or National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, political appointees at agencies, and Congress to make their case for rolling back regulations, keeping specific tax breaks, or cutting the corporate tax rate.

This will, in effect, push corporations’ lobbying efforts more underground Continue reading “CEOs to move their White House talks underground”

Republicans stand up to Trump over Charlottesville comments

Republican lawmakers this weekend took President Donald Trump to task over what they deemed a weak response to white supremacist groups and violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., the latest sign that Trump’s grip on the party may be weakening.

The outspoken group included past Trump antagonists such as Sens. Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake and Marco Rubio, but it also included prominent conservative voices who aren’t known as fierce critics of the administration, such as Sens. Orrin Hatch and Cory Gardner.

The Republicans joined civil rights leaders and Democrats who reacted angrily when Trump said Saturday he condemned "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides.” His repetition of “many sides” struck critics as seeming to equate the white supremacist groups who organized the rally with counter-protesters, though the White House later sought to recast his statement to be more critical of Continue reading “Republicans stand up to Trump over Charlottesville comments”

White House updates Trump’s Charlottesville statement to condemn ‘extremist groups’

The Trump administration on Sunday tried to reframe the president’s earlier, vague statement that blamed “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville, Va., a day earlier, after his comments sparked outrage from at least a dozen prominent Republican lawmakers.

In a statement, the White House sought to clarify that the president condemns violence, bigotry and hatred, and it said “of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all extremist groups.”

The clarification came less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump seemingly blamed both white supremacists and counter-protesters for the vitriol and clashes in the Virginia college town, which resulted in three deaths and left about 20 people injured.

Democrats and civil rights groups jumped on Trump’s initial statement to cast the administration as tolerant of well-known hate groups and ill-equipped to stand for all Americans.

“He must take responsibility for his role in propagating white nationalist ideology Continue reading “White House updates Trump’s Charlottesville statement to condemn ‘extremist groups’”

Trump fails to condemn white supremacists in statement on Charlottesville violence

President Donald Trump declined to condemn the violent actions and protests of white supremacists on Saturday, who had converged on Charlottesville, Va., en masse to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate general.

The clashes killed at least one person and injured a number of others.

Instead, Trump called out in what he deemed the strongest possible terms "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides.” Yet, he never denounced by name the extremist group, or called their behavior unacceptable. He made his pronouncements from his golf club in New Jersey just before signing a bill related to veterans’ health care.

Earlier in the day, hours after the white nationalists had marched in Virginia with lanterns and assaulted non-violent protesters, Trump tweeted out that “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no Continue reading “Trump fails to condemn white supremacists in statement on Charlottesville violence”

Kelly revamping Trump’s policy operation after string of failure

Under former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, there was no formal policymaking process in the West Wing: no set protocol for meeting with the president, giving him information, or presenting various options with which to make decisions. Sometimes, multiple staffers said, disagreements broke out in the Oval Office in front of the president.

That disorganization ultimately led to a string of policy failures, including the collapse of health care reform, even though Republicans control both the White House and Congress.

Now, as President Donald Trump looks to embark on an ambitious fall policy drive that includes tax reform, an infrastructure package and maybe health care—again—his new chief of staff John Kelly is moving quickly to fix those earlier problems in hopes of preventing repeat defeats, according to interviews with five White House officials.

“He’s encouraging people to not step on each other, and that’s not limited to policy,” Continue reading “Kelly revamping Trump’s policy operation after string of failure”

Outside groups prop up White House’s tax reform efforts

Conservative and business-aligned advocacy groups plan to spend millions of dollars boosting tax reform in August, part of a coordinated effort with the White House and lawmakers to avoid the mistakes made during the bruising attempt to repeal Obamacare.

The push by Washington-based interest groups, President Donald Trump’s White House, the Treasury Department and Republicans on the Hill aims to get better results from tax reform by engaging stakeholders from the outset — and by pitching their plans to voters aggressively and early.

The American Action Network announced on Monday that it planned to spend $5 million in August alone when lawmakers are usually back in their districts and more than $20 million total on a tax push. The Business Roundtable, a group that represents CEOs of major companies, and the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity have also pledged to spend millions on TV and radio ads, social media Continue reading “Outside groups prop up White House’s tax reform efforts”