White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly dispatched Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s claim that President Donald Trump engaged in poor negotiating tactics with a simple answer: Look at the end result.
CBS News reporter Steven Portnoy asked Sanders on Monday to respond Schumer’s criticism that negotiating with the president is like “negotiating with jello” and wondering why “The Art of the Deal” author sat on the sidelines.
“What the president did clearly worked,” the press secretary replied.
“The vote just came in 81-18. Those numbers are much more in the president’s favor than in Sen. Schumer’s favor,” she added.
Sanders further noted that she was not sure what positive thing the New York Democrat had gained from what Republicans coined the #SchumerShutdown.
The main area of concession Schumer could point to after an agreement was reached to temporarily fund the government through Feb. 8 was a commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to vote on legislation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program next month, The Hill reported.
“After several discussions, offers and counteroffers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement. We will vote today to reopen the government to continue negotiating a global agreement,” Schumer said.
According to the minority leader, McConnell has agreed that “the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation” on the Senate floor for DACA if negotiators fail to reach an immigration deal before the Feb. 8 deadline.
Trump and GOP leaders refused to negotiate about the future of DACA while the government was shutdown.
However, both the the president and the Republican leadership have repeatedly stated their commitment to reach an agreement regarding DACA that also includes securing the border, an end to so-called “chain migration” and the visa lottery program.
“We are trying to solve (the DACA) issue too,” Trump legislative affairs director Marc Short said on Monday. “But it is incredibly tangential” to funding the government.
“It’s like Chuck Schumer said in 2013. He said, ‘It’s like coming into my house, taking my wife and kids hostage and then trying to negotiate the price of my house.’”
Among the Democrat senators who voted against funding the government on Monday were several prospective candidates for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2020, including Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California.
The speed with which the Democrats came to an agreement to reopen the government may be based on a CNN poll released last week showing their lead in a generic 2018 ballot had shrunk dramatically from 18 points over Republicans in December (56 to 38 percent) to just 5 points (49 to 44 percent) this month.
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