Trump han­dles stum­ble like a busi­ness­man: by mov­ing on

But fail­ure of GOP pri­or­ity en­dan­gers rest of his agenda.

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY'S TOP NEWS - By Anita Ku­mar and Franco Or­donez Tri­bune News Ser­vice

Don­ald Trump ran for pres­i­dent as a busi­ness­man who could make a deal. But on Fri­day, he failed to close the big­gest deal of his young pres­i­dency.

And then, like a busi­ness­man, he moved on.

“That’s what you have to do in busi­ness if you fail,” said Rep. Roger Wil­liams, a Texas Repub­li­can and, per­haps more rel­e­vant in this in­stance, a car dealer. “You move on. You don’t worry about it. He’s go­ing to move on.”

For Trump, House lead­ers’ de­ci­sion not to vote on a Repub­li­can re­place­ment for Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Af­ford­able Care Act when they re­al­ized they did not have the votes to pass it was his first leg­isla­tive set­back — on one of the big­gest prom­ises he’d made on the cam­paign trail.

But af­ter work­ing to win pas­sage, call­ing or meet­ing with 120 House mem­bers over days and invit­ing in­sur­ance and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, busi­ness own­ers, pa­tients, union lead­ers, truck­ers and work­ers to the White House to lobby them, Trump ap­peared to be ready to move on to the next fight.

Even as House lead­ers were still try­ing to gather votes Fri­day morn­ing, Trump had picked a new bat­tle, an­nounc­ing that his ad­min­is­tra­tion had ap­proved con­struc­tion of the con­tro­ver­sial Key­stone XL Pipe­line. Af­ter the re­peal bill was pulled, Trump said his next bat­tle would be tax re­form.

“We couldn’t quite get there. We were just a very small num­ber of votes short in terms of get­ting our bill passed,” Trump said af­ter the bill was pulled.

That means, Trump said, that Oba­macare, as the ACA is known pop­u­larly, will re­main the law of the land. At least un­til it fails and Democrats are will­ing to work with Repub­li­cans on an al­ter­na­tive. “Bi­par­ti­san,” he said, “is al­ways bet­ter.”

Still, the stun­ning de­feat of what has been a leg­isla­tive pri­or­ity for Repub­li­cans for seven years could make it more dif­fi­cult to get through Trump’s other leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties, even though Repub­li­cans con­trol both cham­bers of Congress: changes to the tax code, curb­ing il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, pump­ing more money into the na­tion’s crum­bling roads and bridges, and keep­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment run­ning.

“It makes it very dif­fi­cult to do the tax re­form that a lot of us think that we need to do,” said Rep. Mario Di­azBalart, R-Fla., who sup­ported the bill. Fail­ure, he said, is “a big blow to the agenda and that means ev­ery­thing.”

Repub­li­can strate­gist Kevin Mad­den said the first 200 days of a new pres­i­dency are usu­ally a very re­li­able time in which to get some big things done.

“So we’ve es­sen­tially burned about 60 days off,” he said. “We burned a good deal of time on this up un­til now. That has to be taken into ac­count.”

Mad­den, who pre­vi­ously worked for House Repub­li­cans, said the ques­tion is whether “the par­ties seize a cer­tain level of ac­count­abil­ity and do they learn from it.”

Suc­cess­ful ne­go­tia­tors are op­ti­mists, said Ed Brodow, a ne­go­ti­a­tion ex­pert who de­scribed Trump’s re­ac­tion to Fri­day’s de­feat as con­sis­tent with what the pres­i­dent out­lined in his book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”

He aimed high and pushed and pushed try­ing to get what he wanted, Brow­dow said, but the best ne­go­tia­tors also know when to move on. And they don’t dwell on their losses.

“I don’t think he’s go­ing to sit around wor­ry­ing about it,” said Brodow, au­thor of “Ne­go­ti­a­tion Boot Camp.” “He’s a prag­ma­tist. He’s go­ing to work on some­thing else.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.