Sen. Chuck Schumer attacked from both sides after shutdown failure damaged his credibility

January 23, 2018

Sen. Chuck Schumer attacked from both sides after shutdown failure damaged his credibility Stuart Monk /

Chuck Schumer criticized President Trump for being a bad negotiator last week, saying that trying to talk to the president was like  “negotiating with Jell-O.” Now, it’s Schumer taking heat from his own side over the deal he struck with Mitch McConnell on Monday to end the government shutdown.

Leftists in the grassroots, as well as the Senate chamber, are blasting Sen. Schumer (D-NY) for failing to secure firm protections for illegal immigrants shielded by DACA.

In the end, Schumer’s shutdown accomplished nothing for his party’s open borders agenda. After obstructing the government for two and a half-days, he gave up all the leverage the Democrats had in a one-sided deal. Talk about a lousy negotiator.

The left blasts Schumer

“Cryin’ Chuck” criticized President Trump last week for walking away from a “generous” immigration deal, describing the Commander-in-chief as an impossible negotiator. But it looks like Schumer himself isn’t worth much at the table.

News that Schumer had walked away empty-handed from a deal to end the shutdown on Monday was met with outrage by grassroots activists as well as progressive senators. In exchange for ending the shutdown, Schumer accepted a promise from McConnell that the Republicans would bring an immigration bill to the Senate floor if no agreement is reached before February 8.

The deal comes with no guarantees for the Left’s open borders agenda, as it separates DACA from crucial stopgap funding legislation.

Outraged leftists blasted Schumer for not doing enough to guarantee protections for DREAMers. Schumer said he is holding McConnell to his promise and that he trusts the Majority Leader would not breach his trust.

“Worst negotiator ever”

“Today’s cave by most Senate Democrats was … a stunning display of moral and political cowardice,” said Democracy for America, a Democratic political action committee.

Even Nancy Pelosi wasn’t happy. “I don’t see that there’s any reason — I’m speaking personally and hearing from my members — to support what was put forth,” she said.

Progressive advocates slammed Schumer, with one calling the senator “the worst negotiator in Washington”.

“It’s official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington – even worse than Trump,” said Murshed Zaheed, political director at Credo, a progressive advocacy group. Progressive groups threatened in a conference call with Democratic senators on Monday to campaign against Schumer and his incumbents after the disappointing deal.

“It’s Schumer’s job to lead and keep his caucus together to fight for progressive values, and he didn’t do it,” said Ezra Levin, co-executive director of Indivisible.

The centrist cave

After answering to progressive anger over DACA to lead the Democrats in obstructing the government last week, Schumer made an about-face on Monday, realizing he’d led his party into a dead-end.

Schumer caved to the demands of the centrist wing – the Clintonites who don’t try as hard to pretend to care about immigrants – to keep the government running, responding to fears among incumbents of a backlash against the ill-calculated obstruction gambit.

“It was pretty evident by Saturday that a bunch of his members were getting nervous, and that as much as he tried to keep them together, they were looking for an out,” said Jim Manley, a former Democratic leadership aide.

Presidential hopefuls blast deal

A number of established Democrats and potential contenders for the 2020 race all voted against the deal to end the government, blasting Schumer for failing to protect illegal immigrants.

Senators Kamala Harris (D-Ca.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Ny.), and Cory Booker (D-Nj.), all voted against the deal. Sixteen Democrats in all voted against the bill.

Most Democrats came around under Schumer’s lead to pass the stopgap bill. The Senate voted 81-18 to fund the government through February 8. Harris posted a statement shared on social media criticizing the Democrats for caving to the GOP’s demands.

“The Majority Leader’s comments last night fell far short of the ironclad guarantee I needed to support a stopgap spending bill,” said Harris. “I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word.”

Harris and her fellow presidential hopefuls are surely looking to rack up points on their virtue signaling scorecards ahead of the 2020 presidential race. When the next presidential election comes around, they’ll be able to say they stood with the #resistance when it mattered most.

The so-called resistance has grown into a groundswell of political fury under the Trump administration. The backlash against Schumer highlighted the growing division between the progressive resistance and the more establishment-friendly centrist wing.

Schumer’s embarrassing trade achieved nothing for the Democrats, as critics have pointed out. In one fell swoop, Schumer gave up all the leverage his party had to negotiate for amnesty, securing nothing to protect the “Dreamers”, all while making the Democrat-led shutdown look like a big waste of time.


Add your best email address below to start receiving news alerts.

Privacy Policy

Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.