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Republican strategist 'optimistically cautious' tax reform will get done in September

  • Former Bush aide Ron Christie told CNBC on Thursday he is "somewhat confident" that Congress will find a way to compromise on tax reform legislation.
  • If Republicans can't work with the president to find something to put on his desk, it really does not look good for the Republican leadership, he said.
  • Democrat Patrick Murphy, on the other hand, said he doesn't think comprehensive tax reform will happen.

Despite the divisions within the Republican Party, GOP strategist Ron Christie told CNBC on Thursday he is "somewhat confident" that Congress will find a way to compromise on tax reform legislation.

"We have the largest governing majority right now since 1929, and if Republicans can't work with the president to find something to put on his desk, it really does not look good for the Republican leadership," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch" on Thursday.

"I'm optimistically cautious in my assessment that we will get something done in September," Christie added.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told CNBC on Thursday that Congress can get tax reform done this year, despite also having to tackle government funding and the debt ceiling in September.

He also said he thinks Republicans can get some Democrats on board with the tax reform plan.

Christie said he wouldn't be surprised if that happens.

Ryan "has many solid relationships on the other side of the aisle. People who trust him, people who believe in him," said Christie, who served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush.

Democrat Patrick Murphy, a former congressman from Florida, isn't convinced tax reform will happen.

"There's going to be more and more distractions from this president," he told "Power Lunch."

While Murphy believes comprehensive tax reform is important, he said, "I just don't think it's realistic."

And he doesn't think Republicans are going to get Democrats on board to support the plan they ultimately come up with, he said.

"What we're going to see, realistically speaking, after they raise the debt ceiling, after they pass the budget, is a small version of tax cuts for very few people. That's something I don't see many Democrats getting behind," Murphy said.

WATCH: Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to CNBC about tax reform