Capitol Correspondence - 06.17.19

Big Staff Changes in White House’s Policy Branch – Health Advisor and Congressional Liaison

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ANCOR is sharing these items by Politico Pro and Axios because it is important for our members to be aware of who key players are in federal health policy.

As shared by Politico Pro:

“Brian Blase, a special assistant to President Donald Trump for economic policy, is planning to depart the White House in the coming weeks, four individuals with direct knowledge of the transition told POLITICO.

Blase, who joined the Trump administration in January 2017, has played a central role in backing legislative and regulatory efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act while arguing for different forms of health coverage. He is expected to return to the private sector, say the individuals with knowledge of his thinking. […] Blase also faced some resistance from Trump appointees at HHS over his efforts to limit Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, said two individuals with knowledge of those conversations. Blase has long opposed the law’s expanded coverage, arguing Medicaid should serve only the neediest populations.”

As shared by Axios:

“President Trump has picked Eric Ueland, currently deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, to replace Shahira Knight as director of legislative affairs, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision. Ueland has deep experience in Congress and is widely respected on Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: As the president’s top liaison to Capitol Hill, this is perhaps the hardest job in Washington. The White House is at war with House Democrats, who have initiated a blizzard of subpoenas. Trump has made clear he wants his current and former staff to stonewall House Democrats and that he expects to get no big legislative items done (for example, infrastructure) while Democrats are investigating him.” [Emphasis in original.]