Speaker Paul Ryan Fights To Keep Tax Cuts In Spotlight

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is fighting an uphill battle to keep the focus on the GOP’s tax cuts and the economy in the face of a news cycle dominated by President Trump’s White House.

Ryan has aggressively talked up the benefits of the tax cuts, promoting the law last week in a conference call with a group backed by GOP donors Charles and David Koch and in a visit to Home Depot’s Store Support Center in Atlanta.

But it can be a challenge for Ryan to win the spotlight given competition in the news cycle — from Trump’s decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to Trump’s decision to defy his party and impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, to the news about his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

Before the new tax law passed, Ryan traveled the country arguing that it would help the economy and the middle class. On Friday, the Department of Labor announced the economy added more than 300,000 jobs in February, a boon to the Ryan argument.

Yet the news on jobs didn’t dominate on cable. And at the Home Depot visit, Ryan was asked about the $130,000 payment that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels during the 2016 election as part of a nondisclosure agreement regarding the alleged affair.

The midterm elections are expected to be challenging for Republicans, given that Trump’s approval rating is low and the president’s party typically loses seats in the contests.

GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said Ryan is right to tout the tax cuts and the economy, but doing so may not provide Republicans the boost they need everywhere.

“The tax bill and the economy are not yet resonating in the way that the White House would like it to,” he said. 

Read more from Naomi Jagoda at The Hill

Do you like this post?
Analysis & Political Strategy