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Republican Rohit Kumar calls it a day

world Updated: Aug 19, 2013 00:06 IST
Yashwant Raj

As another budget fight with the Democrats looms, Republicans will miss top congressional aide Rohit Kumar to see them home as many times before, bloody but safe.

Kumar, deputy chief of staff to leader of Republican senators Mitch McConnell, helped the party agree to raise the debt limit in 2011, while voting against it.

It was Kumar who, in 2008, persuaded Republicans to agree to the $700 bank bailout package put together by a treasury team led by another Indian-origin American, Neel Kashkari.

Kumar belongs to a growing band of Indian Americans working their way up the US political establishment, with many of them working as congressional aides, and in the administration.

McConnell has called Kumar “indispensable,” with the rare ability to combine “a brilliant mind for policy and a brilliant mind for politics in one package”.

“A lot of senators will miss him every bit as much as I will,” McConnell added.

The Republicans are threatening to shut down the government over budget differences and debt default. Kumar will surely be missed with the other recent exits.

As McConnell’s deputy chief of staff, Kumar was the leaders chief strategist on budget and taxes, something that he has described as a passion.

He is a lawyer by training, who is now a veteran of Capitol Hill, home to US congress, having done two tours of duty working for three Republican senate leaders.

Kumar is leaving the pressure-cooker workings on the Hill for personal reasons he has said, essentially to be a better husband to his wife, Hilary Chapman, and a caring father to daughter Kyra, aged 3.

“At some point, it becomes incompatible with who you want to be as a father and a husband,” Kumar, 39, told The Washington Post in an interview.

His last working day on the Hill, of this tour, was on Friday.

Kumar has joined PwC US as a principal and co-leader of the firm’s Tax Policy Services practice in Washington National Tax Services, effective September 30.