White House beefs up legislative affairs team

White House beefs up legislative affairs team
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The White House on Tuesday announced it is adding more than half a dozen staffers to its legislative affairs team as it looks to improve ties with Capitol Hill.
Joyce Meyer, a longtime member of Ryan’s inner circle, will serve as a House deputy director of legislative affairs. 
Also joining the White House staff is Paul Teller, a former chief of staff to Cruz who will work as a House special assistant. 
“I’m honored to work alongside impressive individuals committed to advancing the president’s agenda,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said in a statement. 
Short, a former aide to Vice President Pence, said the new additions “offer abundant knowledge and valuable insight that will undoubtedly play a vital role within legislative affairs.”
Trump will need Congress to fulfill his campaign promises, such as an overhaul of the tax code, repealing ObamaCare and securing massive new investments in roads, bridges and railways. 
But the Trump White House has suffered several stumbles in trying to establish relationships with top lawmakers. 
GOP leaders expressed frustration that they didn’t receive advance warning on Trump’s executive order last month blocking refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
And Capitol Hill switchboards have been flooded with calls opposing Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday after two GOP senators voted against her, forcing Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote.
But the White House helped its cause with Republican lawmakers with Trump’s selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, earning praise for both the pick and the ensuing rollout, which members said included ample communication with Trump’s team. 
Trump has personally spoken to leaders in both chambers as well as committee heads in a series of White House meetings. 
His team is betting that beefing up its legislative affairs staff can increase communication and put those relationships on more solid ground. 
Others joining the White House team are Jonathan Hiler, a former aide to Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Senate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform MORE (R-Ark.), and a former member of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) staff, Ben Howard.
Rounding out the team are Alex Angelson, Cindy Simms and Tim Pataki, who will all serve as House special assistants.