Are we looking at an alliance between President Donald Trump and the Democrats? Yes. No. Maybe…..it’s complicated.
Trump seems to have joined forced with both Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Schumer and Pelosi have been hardcore Trump haters since the beginning, so this is a surprising development. The only thing that would surprise me more is if Maxine Waters joined the team. All about the Trump Train!
The Hill reports:
Trump and Schumer built on the nascent alliance by agreeing to seek reforms that would altogether eliminate the need for Congress to hike the debt ceiling — yet another proposal opposed by the president’s Republican allies.
And on Thursday evening, the pair met again as part of a larger group of New Jersey and New York lawmakers gathered at the White House to discuss funding for the Gateway Program, a multibillion-dollar proposal to tunnel a rail line beneath the Hudson River.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who attended the White House meeting, said there was “very good chemistry” between Schumer and the president, predicting this week’s negotiations are a sign that Trump, after largely ignoring or insulting the Democrats for months, is ready to start reaching across the aisle for the sake of winning legislative victories.
“For me, it goes beyond that particular deal. It’s the president sending a message that he’s going to work across the aisle to get things done. He’s not going to allow any small factions to dominate the Congress,” King told The Hill. “Reagan did it with Tip O’Neil; Eisenhower did it with LBJ. I mean, that’s government.”
Yet the hot-and-cold relationship between the president and top Democrats leaves plenty of open questions about how well they’ll work together moving forward.
Trump’s relationship with Schumer stretches back decades, to the mid-1990s, when the Manhattan billionaire first started funneling money to Schumer’s campaigns — donations that have totaled thousands of dollars over the years. Trump’s campaign largess has benefited Pelosi, as well. In the 2006 cycle along, Trump donated $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, helping the Democrats win control of the House that year — and making Pelosi the first female Speaker in the country’s history.
After his election in November, Trump praised Schumer’s intellect — “he is far smarter than Harry [Reid],” Trump tweeted — and his “ability to get things done.”