Democratic lawmakers, and especially the leadership, are seeing major blowback from their failed negotiations with President Donald Trump that led to a 69-hour government shutdown.
A threat against incumbents
Politico reports that some progressive groups threatened to challenge Democrat incumbents in vulnerable races in order to punish the party for the tepid response to the spending bill from Republicans. They also placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“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 of Indivisible.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee called Schumer and his supporters “weak-kneed” in a critical statement.
The DACA disappointment
Many Democrats were angry with Schumer’s deal to re-open the government based on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) promise to have a vote on DACA.
“I’m disappointed with a conversation that suggests a false choice: You either fund the government or you take care of these… kids. We can do both,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
“We waited 17 years already,” said a DACA recipient to CBS News. “We shouldn’t be waiting any longer.”
Other “Dreamer” activists say they feel betrayed by the Democratic Party. Eliana Fernández said that the vote to reopen the government without a DACA deal was a “slap in the face” to Dreamers who need a path to citizenship.
Schumer tried to spin the deal as the best that Democrats could get while out of power.
“Look, we’re very pleased with how things came out,” he said.
“We’re a lot better off today when it comes to the cause of Dreamers than we were four or five days ago,” he explained. “When there is a Republican president, a Republican Senate, a Republican House that are quite recalcitrant against Dreamers, you’re not going to get it all at once.”
Trump takes a victory lap
Late Tuesday evening, the president rubbed salt into the Democratic wound with a mocking tweet.
Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2018
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA,” the president tweeted. “We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!”