Trump’s Tax Lieutenants Face A Critical Stretch

President Trump’s economic team is heading into a critical stretch on tax reform in a weakened position that could make the task even more difficult.

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are two of the administration’s key negotiators and pitchmen on a tax-code overhaul.

But Cohn’s relationship with Trump was badly damaged by his criticism of the president’s response to white supremacist marches in Charlottesville, Va., raising doubts about his clout with the president.

Mnuchin has had trials of his own, having received a tongue-lashing from House Republicans for an off-key presentation last week where he pressed them to raise the debt ceiling as a favor to him. One Republican fuming over the speech told The Hill it was an “arrogant lecture.”

GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said Mnuchin and Cohn have key roles to play in the tax-reform push.

“The better their standing on Capitol Hill, the better off the administration will be,” he said.

O’Connell said that members of Trump’s economic team have had “a little bit of a rough time” because the White House has needed wins and there were many people who disliked the debt-limit deal that the president struck with Democrats.

Read more from Naomi Jagoda at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy