Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer say GOP Senate coronavirus bill is ‘selling out working families’ The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Barr’s showdown with House Democrats GOP senator deletes ad that showed Jewish opponent with larger nose MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden hits Trump’s ‘law and order’ message: He’s trying to ‘scare the devil’ out of people Pelosi bashes Barr after testimony: ‘He was like a blob’ and ‘henchman’ for Trump Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances MORE should try to cut a deal on more coronavirus relief to help Republicans’ electoral prospects in November.
“The person who should really want something to happen actually is Trump because if the economy goes to hell in a handbasket, which it will do if we don’t pass anything, he’s finished. He may be finished anyway, but he’s certainly finished if that happened,” Schumer said during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
When Hayes said he thought the GOP strategy, with several Republicans blasting their own party’s proposal, was “bizarro,” Schumer added: “It is.”
“They are so enthralled by the right-wing ideologies, who say don’t spend any government money, that they’re not even doing what would be … in their own self-interest. So you’re right. It is bizarre. It is totally bizarre. But they are totally at war with themselves,” Schumer said.
Schumer’s comments come as the $1 trillion Republican coronavirus package, which was negotiated by a core group of GOP senators and the administration, has sparked high-profile divisions within the caucus. The proposal is the GOP’s opening offer in negotiations with Democrats on the final bill.
Democrats believe they have leverage in the negotiations as coronavirus cases climb across the country and Trump, and GOP senators in tough reelection bids, face a slew of troubling polls.
“I think Republicans are reading the polls. The president is slumping, their Republican Senate candidates are slumping in the polls. They have to show something,” said Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinVOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage On The Money: GOP mulls short-term unemployment extension | White House, Senate GOP strike deal on B for coronavirus testing Senate Democrats call for support for pork producers in coronavirus aid package MORE (D-Ill.), Schumer’s No. 2.
Schumer added during the MSNBC interview that Democrats have “a lot of leverage and we ain’t afraid to use it.”
“We don’t have a majority in the Senate and we can’t pass it alone, but we have a lot of leverage and we’re going to use it,” he said.
But the bipartisan negotiations are off to a slow start, so far, with the administration saying Democrats are drawing a red line on continuing the $600-per-week unemployment increase and Democrats saying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances Republican senators revolt over coronavirus proposal Lawmakers, public bid farewell to John Lewis MORE‘s (R-Ky.) demand that liability protections be included in the bill suggests the GOP leader doesn’t want an agreement.
McConnell, leaving the Capitol for the day, doubled down on including liability protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits in the final agreement.
“That will be in any bill that passes the Senate,” he told reporters.