Indian-American Negotiator Quits As Aide To Top Republican

Monday, 12 August 2013, 04:46 Hrs
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Washington: A key Indian-American Republican aide who played a key role in avoiding possible government shutdown in the US over disagreement on the national debt in the Senate, is set to quit his job.

Rohit Kumar, 39, who came up with a way to sell a $700 billion bank bailout to anxious lawmakers in 2008 when the financial system was collapsing, will quit on Friday from the post as the chief negotiator for Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of the Republican party.

As Congress braces for a possible government shutdown next month and the fresh danger of default before Thanksgiving, the departure of Kumar is a huge loss, the Washington Post reported.

Kumar is the latest in a surprising exodus of senior Republican staffers that has worried people in both parties and darkened the outlook for the confrontation this fall.

In addition to losing Kumar, McConnell has lost his longtime floor general, Dave Schiappa, who left after nearly three decades to take a job as vice-president at the Duberstein Group, a downtown lobbying firm.

Speaker of the House of Representatives John A Boehner has lost his chief negotiator, Brett Loper, a policy expert who came close to hammering out a grand bargain with the White House in 2011. Loper left in June to become a lobbyist for American Express.

Kumar, a 13-year veteran from Dallas who got his start with former senator Phil Gramm and has since served a series of Senate leaders, has been at McConnell's side through every major fiscal deal since President Barack Obama took office.

He is taking time off to be a stay-at-home dad to his 3-year-old daughter, Kiera.

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Source: PTI
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