Inside President Donald Trump’s White House, no one seems to be looking forward to September.
Senior officials have described the coming month as “brutal,” “bad” or “really tough” because of the confluence of complicated issues — but they also say it’s pivotal to getting the presidency back on course.
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Aides hope to have a better blueprint for how the president wants to proceed on a series of thorny issues — the nation’s debt ceiling, the 2018 federal budget, tax reform, infrastructure spending and perhaps another stab at repealing Obamacare — after a series of meetings in New York this week.
Their goal is to partially temper Trump’s expectations, hammer out some compromises and get a competing band of aides on the same page. The month has taken on outsized importance among some top aides and outside advisers, who view it as key to getting the presidency on a better track.
“The stakes are very high in September,” said Jenny Beth Martin, who leads the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative grassroots group. “There is a lot to do in a very short period of time.”
Trump, who is impatient, wants it all done immediately, said people close to the president— and he has ratcheted up pressure on aides in recent weeks, even though he doesn’t always engage with the substance of issues.
What makes the month harder is many of the fights are in Congress, where the president and his team have little control.
“The President has made clear his commitment to getting healthcare, tax reform, and infrastructure passed in Congress. There shouldn’t have to be a choice,” said Kelly Love, a White House spokeswoman.
Trump’s aides have prepared lengthy memos and presentations on the legislative calendar for Trump in New York and Washington next week to see how he wants to handle the policy debates.