(Washington) In the midst of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, negotiations to approve Joe Biden’s ambitious program and the difficulty of sharing power with Senate Republicans, Chuck Schumer’s new Democratic majority will take the reins of the biggest challenge of his career.
At age 70, the senator from Brooklyn, who likes to recall his humble origins by describing himself as “the son and housewife of the Exterminator,” promised Republicans that “whenever and wherever it is possible”.
He was welcomed into his new role with friendly words from his great rival, the powerful Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
“I want to congratulate my colleague from New York,” Chuck Schumer began on a hemicycle on Thursday, emphasizing that he was “the first Jewish congressman to lead one of the two chambers.” A historic moment ”.
But etiquette should be short-lived.
Following Donald Trump’s exit from the White House, Joe Biden’s new vice president, Kamala Harris, will have the power to decide tie votes in the Senate, which has 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, from Wednesday.
The new Democratic president wants to speed up the ratings from his cabinet members, and despite calls from Congress to adopt his Titanic $ 19,100 billion economic stimulus plan as soon as possible, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell are still negotiating the terms that will govern the new upper house.
With such a narrow narrow majority there is no question of the Democrats ruling alone. The two leaders must decide separately how to pass bills and appointments on committees equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.
In the case of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which is set to begin on February 8, Chuck Schumer will have to convince 17 Republicans to keep his forces united if he wants to see the former president condemned. This is an almost impossible goal, as many Republicans have already emphasized the obvious contradiction between this infamous and historic policy and calls for a Joe Biden rally.
“The rally will only take place if we come to the truth and take them into account,” Chuck Schumer said on a bicycle.
Behind all these challenges, the new majority leader should try to maintain a united democratic group from the most progressive Bernie Saunders elected from the Republican state of West Virginia to the more traditional Joe Munchin.
“It’s going to be a very difficult time,” said Susan Collins, a moderate Republican senator.
“With the Senate divided equally, the majority leader will have to try to build coalitions between the two parties, but he does not know that,” she said Friday. She was one of several senators from both parties who blamed Mr. Schumer for the critical time with the AFP.
“He has little room for maneuver,” said Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, a strong ally of Donald Trump in Congress, who noted that serious negotiations were coming to a compromise.
He said Republicans do not support a massive stimulus package, “but I think we can come forward with a smaller” aid package.
Joe Biden’s plan to regularize millions of unregistered immigrants while reforming the immigration system is unlikely to be approved, Mr Graham warned, even considering a more limited agreement limited to “dreamers”, with about 700,000 immigrants arriving in the United States as unregistered children.
He warned that from 2022, Democrats will have to maintain their narrow majority in the Senate.
After the divisions of the Trump mandate and his strong support in Congress, can Chuck Schumer be persuaded to take revenge on the Republicans?
“No, no,” Democratic Senator Robert Menendez told AFP. “We must seize this opportunity to advance the cause of democracy.”