The minute the Democrats won the majority in the Senate, numerous liberal pundits inexplicably began insisting that Chuck Schumer wasn’t up to the job of Senate Majority Leader. No evidence was provided in support of this argument, but liberal pundits pushed it so hard, it began to seep in before Schumer even took the reins.
From the start, Palmer Report pointed out that this narrative about Chuck Schumer was a work of fiction. He’s not quite Nancy Pelosi in terms of political savvy, but nobody is, as Pelosi is a once in a generation talent when it comes to this kind of thing. Schumer has consistently shown that he knows how to work from the Pelosi playbook, so there was little doubt that he’d find a way to navigate the tricky political waters of having the slimmest possible Senate majority.
Sure enough, last night the Senate parliamentarian announced that the Senate can pass multiple additional bills this year through reconciliation. Just like that, the Democrats will be able to pass every bit of budget-related legislation that all fifty of them can agree on. But this didn’t occur through happenstance or luck; it was Schumer who specifically went to the parliamentarian and made the argument that the rules could be interpreted to allow multiple additional bills.
This doesn’t clear the deck for the Democrats’ entire legislative agenda. But it does clear the decks for the entire budget-related legislative agenda, which is a huge piece of the puzzle. This was Schumer’s first swing at getting the rules changed, and he’s succeeded already. He’ll have additional such successes as the year goes on, in order to pass non-budgetary legislation.
As long as you keep in mind that legislation is passed through this kind of wonky maneuvering, and not by magic wand, it’s easy to see that Chuck Schumer knows exactly what he’s doing. And of course it’s more important than ever to tune out those liberal pundits who think their job is to push baseless doomsday hype in order to scare you into paying attention. Nothing is ever as simplistic as these doomsday types make it out to be.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report