The midweek edition of the Morning Jolt features a new initiative from the Koch network aiming to reduce criminal recidivism; some tough questions about corruption in American life before and during the Trump presidency, some great news from Davos, Switzerland, and wondering what Chuck Schumer’s next move is… or how long Democrats will want him being the leader of their party in the Senate.
Will Chuck Schumer Offer Funding for the Wall Again or Not?
One of the more surprising headlines in the final days before the short-lived government shutdown was that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats appeared ready to make a concession and begin funding of a wall on the southern border.
The administration has asked Congress for $18 billion to build the wall; Mr. Cornyn said that in negotiations with the White House before the shutdown, Mr. Schumer had offered the president $25 billion. A spokesman for Mr. Schumer declined to comment but did not dispute the figure.
But Mr. Schumer said he rescinded the offer because Mr. Trump had rejected the rest of the immigration package.
“The wall offer was made as part of a broader deal. The president rejected that broader deal, so the offer is off the table,” Mr. Schumer said.
Okay, so if the broader deal comes back, then the offer for Democrats’ support for wall funding comes back, right?
Or is Schumer now so unnerved by the thermonuclear freak-out among grassroots Democrats and immigration amnesty groups that he can’t make that offer again? Progressive writer Kate Aranoff wants Democratic rank-and-file voters to directly elect their Congressional leaders, instead of the current method of election by the party’s senators and House members. The proposal is an unworkable mess – picture presidential-style national campaigns, at any time, for Senate and House leadership jobs – but the sudden overt sentiment for replacing Schumer suggests that if some Senate Democrat announced today an intention to challenge him, that senator would instantly become the Bernie Sanders to Schumer’s Hillary Clinton.
There’s a logjam of Democratic senators who either want to run for president in 2020 or are thinking about it: Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sanders, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York…
Maybe if you’re an ambitious Democratic senator, you don’t want to be one of a half-dozen or so senators competing for two minutes of nationally-televised debate time and praying Oprah doesn’t jump in and make you look boring. Maybe it would be more rewarding to be the next leader of your party in the Senate.