Just after Donald Trump said he liked Chuck Schumer better than Republican leadership, this is how Schumer responded.
Touted the democrat’s best hope against Trump presidency, Senator Chuck Schumer fired provocative shots at Trump’s incoming presidency at Day 1 of the new Congress.
Newsday reported Tuesday afternoon:
Sen. Chuck Schumer said Democrats will hold the Republican majority in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump “accountable” to the American people and the law as the New Yorker made his first speech Tuesday as Senate minority leader.
In remarks on the Senate floor, Schumer directly addressed Trump, appealing to him to keep promises he made to win working-class votes, warning him about coarse divisive language and criticizing him for taking a hard-right turn with his Cabinet nominees.
Schumer also poked fun and warned Trump about using social media to make policy. “With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency,” he said. “These issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. We cannot tweet them away.”
Schumer, who now leads the 48-member Democratic caucus, repeated his promise that Democrats would work with Republicans on issues of mutual interest but would fight them on issues of disagreement as they began to roll back much of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
Armed with senatorial privilege, the need for unanimous consent and a filibuster requiring 60 votes to pass bills and Supreme Court nominees, Schumer’s caucus represents the Democrats’ best and only brake on a unified Republican Congress and White House.
Republicans still will win more often than not, Schumer tacitly acknowledged. “But we can raise our voices to present an alternative way forward and we can rally the American people to support those programs,” he said.
Reading from a prepared text, Schumer covered many issues, including jobs, trade and foreign policy. He said Democrats would hold Trump accountable for benchmarks, like a 5 percent to 6 percent economic growth rate and a lower unemployment rate.
But the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and then postpone its replacement for years emerged as a flash point in the day’s Senate speeches.
“The ACA extended health care to 30 million Americans. We ask the president-elect: If you repeal the ACA, what are you going to do to protect these 30 million people?” Schumer said.