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It's not Steve Bannon's fault GOP made little progress on taxes, failed on health care: Analyst

  • Wall Street may be cheering the news of Steve Bannon's departure, but you really can't blame Bannon for the GOP's failure on health care and the delay in tax reform, James Pethokoukis said.
  • Terry Haines, senior political strategist at Evercore ISI, thinks that despite the division with the party, the GOP will still work to pass Trump's pro-growth agenda.

Wall Street may be cheering the news that President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon is leaving the White House, but you really can't blame Bannon for the failure to make progress on the Republican agenda, the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis told CNBC on Friday.

"It's not because of Steve Bannon that the Republicans failed to pass health-care reform and the president seemed to have a very loose grasp on the details. Nor is it Steve Bannon's fault that tax reform … very little progress has been made," the economic policy analyst for the conservative think tank said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

On Friday, the White House announced the controversial Bannon was departing. Bannon had been at odds with some members of the administration, including Trump's top economic aide, Gary Cohn. Wall Street had been fearful about a possible departure of Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive.

The news followed a week of outrage over Trump's comments on the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Corporate and bipartisan political criticism was swift, fueling concerns about the future of the president's pro-growth agenda.

Terry Haines, senior political strategist at Evercore ISI, said that despite the division with the party, the GOP will still work to pass Trump's pro-growth agenda.

"Even though congressional Republicans are going to stay a bit farther away from Trump than they had before, and this was never really a marriage to begin with, they're still going to come together on things that matter, starting with tax reform."