The Democratic Congressional leadership certainly put one over on 45th*, the Republicans in Congress, and in particular, the Freedom Caucus on September 6, 2017. Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) knee capped the President and the Congressional Republican leadership when they met at the White House. The Negotiator In Chief stunned everyone at that meeting by agreeing to the Democrats’ demands when 45th*,
“Defied more than his top aides. He turned on Republican leaders in Congress when he caved to Democrats’ demands to raise the debt limit and fund the government for three months, setting up a brutal year-end fiscal cliff.”
The Senate passed the agreement, 80 to 17, which earmarked over $15 billion dollars for Hurricane relief, raised the debt ceiling, and funded the government through December 15, 2017, setting up a dilemma for the Republicans who will have to revisit the difficult issue of continued government funding or a government shutdown just in time for Christmas. Among the yes votes on September 7, was one from the Independent Socialist Senator from Vermont. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/senate-roll-call-vote-harvey-aid-debt-limit-49686901 The House followed suit passing the agreement on September 8, with only 90 no votes all coming from Republicans. https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/house-approves-harvey-package-debt-deal This means there is a veto proof majority on the legislation, and 45th* will be forced to sign it and honor the deal that he made.
This cave to the Democrats by 45th* was described in a New York Times Op Ed as,
Now that the Novice In Chief has handed the Democratic leadership this strategic political gift, you can bet that Leaders Schumer and Pelosi will be back to take advantage of the precedent that has been set. Perhaps they will trade an 18 month budget resolution for increases in allowances for Democratic favored programs such as SNAP benefits, and the S-CHIP program for children’s medical care, and for an infrastructure bill that does not include privatizing our roads and bridges, and perhaps throwing in some increased funding for public transportation.
Democratic leadership might even be able to condition the Democratic votes that will be needed to avoid an end of year government shutdown on the inclusion of the bipartisan Bridge Act, which is designed as the legislative replacement for President Obama’s DACA program. While they are at it, the democratic leadership may also force the republicans to agree to the passage of the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.
There are voices among the far left who have taken the position that there should be no negotiations with 45th* and the Republican Congress. There are organizations out there threatening to replace any Democrat who dares to cooperate with the Republicans and their President. Those organizations calling for a new Congress of extremists from the left are similar to the Republican Freedom Caucus of the right, which has been crippling the federal government and preventing it from properly functioning, since the Tea Party first began winning congressional seats in 2010.
The refusal to cooperate resistance strategy is a losing and futile game. Leaders Schumer and Pelosi have just proven the case for taking the lead, for making deals with the worst Deal Maker In Chief imaginable. The Democratic Party leaders have shown the country who really is in charge, and who really can be trusted to deliver for the American people. Instead of gridlock and white knuckle lurching towards catastrophe, we now have the adults in charge and they are making policy that we Democrats want. Having a minority party that is interested in governing and in doing the most good for the most of our people, instead of partisan games, is truly refreshing.
Democrats might be a minority in both Houses of Congress, but this week the minority rolled over on the majority and they are perfectly positioned to do it again. Who says there isn’t a Santa Claus? His name just might be Chuck Schumer and his partner might very well be Nancy Pelosi. Chuck and Nancy’s excellent deal might very well prove to be the gift that keeps on giving.