James Comey Cloud Hindering Trump's Agenda

President Trump worked this week to revive his legislative agenda and kick off his administration's pursuit of an infrastructure overhaul, but the attention devoted to former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony demonstrated how difficult it will be to get back on track.

Trump's efforts to expedite legislative priorities that had stalled amid controversy included a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Tuesday, which was followed by a private dinner with a handful of national-security-focused Republican lawmakers that evening.

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, said the GOP could be running out of time to notch any legislative accomplishments before the midterm elections sweep some Republican House members out of office.

"Congressional Republicans have to grow a backbone. They have to realize that, in terms of numbers, it's not going to get any better than it is right now," O'Connell said of the House majority. "You've got to produce some deliverables, basically."

Trump's top two legislative priorities — an Obamacare overhaul and tax reform — have hit roadblocks in the House and Senate thanks to dissent within Republican ranks about the direction of those policies. And this week, administration officials piled on a third policy initiative by announcing its renewed push for an infrastructure package before the end of the year.

"When we talk about Obamacare and we talk about tax reform or tax cuts, these are not just Trump items that are just separate from the GOP agenda like, say, the wall might be," O'Connell noted. "These are items that [Republicans] promised no matter who the president is."

Read more from Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner

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