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Firing Sessions would make it harder to get health care and taxes done, analyst says

  • A lot of issues have delayed President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda, and firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions would just add to that, Jimmy Pethokoukis said.
  • "We're sitting here without a health-care bill, and, let's be clear, there is no health-care bill. We're sitting here without a tax bill," he told "Closing Bell."

A lot of issues have "gobbled up" people's time and delayed President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda — and firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions would just add to that, economic policy analyst Jimmy Pethokoukis told CNBC on Tuesday.

"We're sitting here without a health-care bill, and, let's be clear, there is no health-care bill. We're sitting here without a tax bill," he said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"If anything happens with Jeff Sessions, he's fired — again, another distraction, I think, further occupying this administration and making it harder to get anything done," Pethokoukis said. "It's not early in the process at this point."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions

On Tuesday, Trump said he was "disappointed" in Sessions. During a press conference with the Lebanese prime minister, the president said Sessions should have not recused himself from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"If he was going to recuse himself he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would've quite simply picked somebody else," Trump said.

However, he declined to say whether he would ask Sessions to resign or if Sessions should resign on his own.

Trump also said he believes Republicans will come up with a "really, really wonderful" health-care plan. The Senate voted to move forward with its Obamacare repeal push on Tuesday, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the tie-breaking vote.

"Republicans have decided to hold hands and take a step together into the darkness. What is in there they do not know," said Pethokoukis, a scholar with the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute.

He said he thinks the House will approve a Senate bill that looks like the original repeal-and-replace legislation. However, he's not so sure it will pass a "skinny" repeal.

The "skinny" repeal would eliminate the individual-mandate penalty, the employer-mandate penalty and the medical-device tax from the Affordable Care Act, according to NBC.

— CNBC's Angelica LaVito and Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.