Trump taps new legislative affairs director

Trump taps new legislative affairs director
© Getty images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE has selected Eric Ueland, a White House official and former Senate aide, as his next director of legislative affairs, the White House announced Thursday.

Ueland will officially start on the job next Monday, replacing Shahira Knight, who left the White House this month to return to the private sector.

“Eric is a talented, highly respected individual who has more than two decades of experience serving on Capitol Hill. Eric will work to add to the many legislative victories the President has already achieved, including tax cuts, the First Step Act, and rebuilding of our great military,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.


The appointment comes at a tumultuous time for the president, whose battles with the Democratic-controlled House over investigations have dimmed the prospect for major legislation leading up to the 2020 elections.

Ueland has ties to congressional Republicans and a deep knowledge of Senate rules and procedures, having served as staff director on the Senate Budget Committee and as chief of staff to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).

The new congressional liaison currently serves as deputy director of the White House’s domestic policy council. He was nominated to be undersecretary of State for management in December 2017, though his nomination was withdrawn a year later.

The administration is not believed to have any major legislation to pitch to Congress in the near future after talks of an infrastructure package broke down. An immigration plan recently crafted by White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Chris Christie Trump: 'Shouldn't be hard' for Kanye West to take away votes from Biden Trump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' MORE did not gain traction on Capitol Hill.

But both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue will need to negotiate a spending agreement and raising the debt ceiling in the coming months. The White House is also pressuring lawmakers to ratify the revised North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

– Tal Axelrod contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:47 a.m.