March 31, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Hill Unfazed by Daley Show

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not been shy about expressing displeasure with the White House in the past, but he refused to comment on White House Counselor Pete Rouse taking on an expanded role, saying the shift is “none of my business.”

Graham and other Senate Republicans point to the White Houses lack of involvement in pushing for a deal from the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction as a sign that it is in full-on campaign mode.

They are playing zero role in this, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said of the White Houses involvement with the super committee. He dismissed the White House shuffle as a yawner. Corker said hes had good conversations with Daley as a fellow former businessman, but he said the White House has become disengaged from the legislative process.

But Corker said he still expects Daley to be the one reaching out to the GOP.

Im sure hell still be the same guy I call, he said.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 Republican, said it appears the White House thinks that Rouse is better able to coordinate with the campaign, and the campaign seems to be calling all the shots, which is unfortunate because were at a time where the country and the world needs us to come to a result on debt reduction.

And Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) said that the move is another sign that the partisans have taken over the White House. Daley is a reasonable human being. Hes somebody you can work with. And theres a considerable number of people who dont want that.

The shift itself is a bit undefined White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that more was being made of the change than was the reality and that the change had been in the works for weeks or months.

Carney said Daley would remain chief of staff and wasnt giving up his duties, even as Rouse was taking on more. In addition, Daley previously announced he will exit the White House after the election, even if Obama is re-elected.

Its about making the White House as effective and efficient as possible. ... And what Bill announced in one of our meetings yesterday morning was simply that, as most of you know or a lot of you know, Ive asked Pete to take on these additional responsibilities to help us function better.

Carney said the change would largely affect internal communication.

Regardless of the particulars of the shuffle, the larger shift in the White Houses dealings with Congress, the Democratic aides said, is a much tougher line against Hill Republicans, which they also interpret as a sign of Daleys waning influence.

Republicans who are concerned that Daley, their most friendly contact in the White House, is getting marginalized only have themselves to blame, one of the aides said. They didnt make any concessions to keep him there. The didnt meet him halfway on anything.

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