Reince Priebus Really Needed That Win

Thursday's AHCA vote may have saved the chief of staff's career
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2017 1:58 PM CDT
Health Vote May Have Saved Reince Priebus' Job
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus arrives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017, after the House pushed through a health care bill.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Thursday's advancement of the American Health Care Act may not have meant more to anyone than Reince Priebus, the New York Times reports in a lengthy piece on the trials and tribulations of President Trump's chief of staff. It had been a rough first 100 days for Priebus, seen as one of the least powerful chiefs of staff in White House history. According to interviews with dozens of Republican officials and White House aides, Priebus has been frustrated with the way Trump wants to operate and has chafed against giving the president the free, unstructured time he craves. That and other "rookie mistakes" led to Priebus being largely sidelined.

And after the administration's initial failure to pass the AHCA, Trump blamed Priebus for overestimating GOP votes and being too close to Paul Ryan. Priebus has spent the past few weeks hassling Ryan about bringing some version of the AHCA up for another vote. When the vote in the House went their way Thursday, it may have saved Priebus' career. He personally saw it as a must-win for himself. But the Times states Thursday's vote was "less a victory ... than a reprieve" for the chief of staff, who is still only the third most powerful person in the White House—at best. Read the full piece here. (More Reince Priebus stories.)

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