Some key Republican voices say dealing with the controversies surrounding President Donald Trump's first month in office have been a distraction from their work toward reforming Obamacare and the nation's tax code.
"Every day you guys, you're not focused on tax reform right now," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said earlier this week, reports The Hill. "It is a distraction."
Corker also told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, after Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, stepped down that there is an issue over whether the White House can "stabilize itself" amidst questions over communications with Russia.
However, reports The Hill, there are others who blame the situation on growing pains for Trump and his new administration, which is not yet fully staffed.
Both of the major reform initiatives, however, are working under tight deadlines, and many on the Hill were angered by the White House's decision to unveil Trump's travel ban without communicating with lawmakers.
Speaker Paul Ryan this week said he speaks with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and others nearly daily, and House and Senate teams are in constant consultation with the White House.
One House Republican, a Trump backer whose name was not reported by The Hill, said there is a danger of the White House becoming "hunkered down over there in a bunker mentality, and you get more problems like the rollout of the immigration executive order" and "they need to be communicating to us more, reaching out more, coordinating more. There couldn’t be too much of that.”
Trump also has not yet nominated several key posts that require Senate confirmation, and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said there are still many empty seats.
"Once they get fully staffed, it will get better, but it can’t happen soon enough," said Chaffetz.
Idaho GOP Rep. Mike Simpson, meanwhile, said it is difficult to move forward with oversight work without the administration in place, and criticized Trump for controversies that have nothing to do with "things that are important."
"Why are we talking about Ivanka’s clothing line and whether there were 3 to 5 million illegals, he would have won the popular vote?’” Simpson said. “Why are we talking about all this stuff?”
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