Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz did her best to explain what exactly Democrats got out of the budget showdown that ended on Monday.
Wassmeran Schultz, a U.S. representative from Florida, appeared on CNN not long after lawmakers reached a deal to end the government shutdown, and gave an answer that left host Brooke Baldwin confused and asking for clarification.
“What one thing can you point out that Democrats — that Leader Schumer — what one thing did he get, you know, from Republicans to justify shutting down the government in the first place?” Brooke asked.
According to Wassermann Schultz, Senate Democrats’ prize after leading a three-day shutdown of the federal government was — not a deal on the Deferred Action for childhood Arrivals program, or even momentum on an agreement regarding DACA — but “potential” for momentum on DACA.
“So the one thing I’d say that (Schumer) did get is the potential for momentum, because if — and I’m certainly hopeful that’s what occurs — if Majority Leader McConnell can be taken at his word and over the next three weeks before Feb. 8, they can negotiate on protecting the Dreamers,” the Florida Democrat said.
This explanation left Baldwin perplexed.
“I am still hung up, though. And I know Americans are listening, and they heard you say ‘potential for momentum.’ And they’re thinking, ‘potential for momentum,” the CNN host began.
“‘Was that really worth shutting the government down for?’ The potential for something?”
When confronted with the fact that her answer indicates Democrats gained essentially nothing from the budget standoff, Wasserman Schultz began to delineate into a criticism of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump.
“Republicans should be asking themselves that question because they shut that down. This is a Trump shutdown, Brooke. They control the White House, the House and the Senate.”
Of course, a spending bill must garner at least 60 votes in order pass the Senate and Republicans only hold a slim majority. Senate Democrats stalled negotiations in the hopes of gaining more traction on DACA.
DACA began as an executive order by then-President Barack Obama in 2012. Trump, a longtime critic of his predecessor’s immigration policies, announced last September that he would be phasing the program out, with an end of the executive order in six months time.
However, Trump and Republican lawmakers have indicated they want to work on a legislative fix to the program and have since been in talks with Democrats on the issue.
Democrats used the budget battle as an opportunity to force the GOP’s hand on DACA, hoping to get something passed this month, despite the fact that the program doesn’t end until March.
However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ended the standoff on Monday with only a promise of action.
Liberal hardliners have since hammered Schumer for his capitulation and most of the media has characterized the budget battle as a win for Senate Republicans.
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