Trump aide meets with moderate Democrats ahead of tax, infrastructure fights

Ryan: Health care talks in conceptual stages
Ryan: Health care talks in conceptual stages

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Story highlights

  • Trump administration officials are reaching across the aisle to Democrats
  • Bipartisan Monday meeting touched on several agenda items

Washington (CNN)The White House has signaled to Democrats that it is willing to make good on its promise to work across the aisle on issues like tax reform and infrastructure, something the President has said publicly after Republicans' high-profile failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Trump administration's director of legislative affairs, Marc Short, met with the moderate Blue Dog Democrats on Monday evening on Capitol Hill, according to two people familiar with the meeting.
There were about 15 Democratic members present and a number of Congressional staffers, one source said. The Blue Dog Democrats Coalition for the 115th Congress has 18 members, so a majority of that group attended the meeting -- though the sources declined to give specific names of Congress members who attended.
It is a strategic move for the Trump administration as they struggle to find votes to support their legislative agenda. These would be the clearest allies on the Democratic caucus the Trump team can find: Centrist, bordering on almost right-leaning Democrats, hailing mostly from Trump districts.
One source said both sides discussed infrastructure in an effort to try and lock in some early goodwill from a group that will be central to any big push on that front. That person also added the meeting included some discussion on tax reform, in an effort to feel out where the Democrats stand on the issue.
Short pledged would meet with the group at a regular clip in the weeks ahead, according to one of the sources.