President Trump has returned to the White House after a successful first trip abroad, signaling a shift back to domestic issues: health care, tax reform, and whether Republicans can work together to deliver legislation amidst ongoing distractions that continue to plague the administration.
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The most recent disruption comes from a report by the Washington Post on Friday that suggests Trump’s son-in-law, senior adviser Jared Kushner, might have been in talks with Russian officials to create a secret communication channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.
But House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is not concerned that the latest plot twist in the seemingly perpetual Russia probe will distract the administration from its political agenda.
“There is a lot going on, and the public is seeing a lot of these issues being talked about online and on TV, and everywhere else. But in Washington, we are continuing to be just focused on delivering tax reform. We have to,” Brady said during an interview on the FOX News Channel.
Despite the continued drama in the White House, and the reported turmoil within the GOP regarding the health care overhaul, Brady is “confident” Senate Republicans will come together to make good on their promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare, simply because “doing nothing isn’t an option.”
“They’ve [the Senate] got good smart people over there, they have learned a lot from the key changes and improvements we made, and I’m just optimistic at the end of the day they will get it done,” Brady said.
And although some Democrats have used the Congressional Budget Office score of the new revised GOP health care bill as a rallying cry against the American Health Care Act, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, offered a ray of hope for bipartisanship.
“Let’s sit down together,” Durbin said during an interview with Chris Wallace on the FOX News Channel. “I don't agree with many aspects of [the Republicans’] starter plan. But it's a good faith effort to do two things: Reduce the cost of health insurance and expand the reach of health insurance. That should be our national goal.”
As for tax cuts, Brady acknowledged that it’s the “biggest challenge of any generation,” but believes the president and his team are “focused on the timeline for delivering pro-growth, bold, permanent tax reform this year.”