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Chuck Schumer’s flip phone is one of the hardest working artifacts in Washington.
That’s clear to anyone who has watched the Senate majority leader navigate the labyrinth of tunnels below the US Capitol, his throwback technology glued to his ear as he carefully manages the 49 Democratic-aligned colleagues who constitute his fragile power base.
In reality, Schumer’s most prized assets in the evenly-divided Senate are Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote, and some arcane budget rules that allow him to overcome Republican opposition in pursuit of turning President Joe Biden’s agenda into law with only Democratic support.
Ask Schumer and of course he’ll insist the partisan route is not his preferred method.
“I’m trying to have the Senate be far more bipartisan than it was,” the New York Democrat told reporters earlier this week. In this instance, he was talking about a pending anti-Asian hate crimes bill that Republicans are now interested in collaborating on as unprovoked attacks plague the nation.
“When the Senate’s given the opportunity to work, it can,” Schumer added.
But the Brooklyn native is also no dummy.
He knows he’s trapped in a post-Trump Washington where Democrats and Republicans have little incentive to cooperate with each other, and where the wonky ways of process and procedure are shaping up to be the go-to strategy if he’s going to succeed in his new role as the most powerful of all 100 US senators.
This is personal for Schumer. What he’s able to accomplish over the next 18 months will go a long way toward determining if Democrats can maintain their Senate majority in the 2022 midterms, an election where he’s expected to make a run at securing a history-making fifth term representing the Empire State.
The way Schumer sees it, fulfilling Biden’s agenda, particularly while the wounds from the recent COVID-fueled economic …read more
Source:: Business Insider