Speed Reads

failing 'leadership 101'

Schumer 'f--ked it up' on Build Back Better negotiations, senior Dem aide says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has come under fire from Hill Democrats for his leadership style, Politico reported Tuesday.

His failure to reach a compromise with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to pass the Build Back Better bill and his decision to force a vote on President Biden's already doomed voting rights agenda, several Democratic staffers told Politico, highlighted divisions in the party at a time when Democrats are in danger of losing their already razor-thin majority.

"Leadership 101 is even if you don't get someone today, you're going to need them tomorrow," one senior House Democratic aide told Politico. "The level of malpractice is stunning. BBB is a once-in-a-10-year opportunity, and we f--ked it up."

Schumer turned Sens. Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) into scapegoats, staffers argued, subjecting his fellow Democrats the ire that ought to have been directed toward Republicans.

On Jan. 18, Schumer refused to rule out supporting primary challengers to Manchin and Sinema, Business Insider reported.

Manchin represents a deeply conservative state and is far likelier to be replaced by a hard-right Republican than by a progressive Democrat. Sinema, who was censured by Arizona Democratic Party leadership over the weekend, became the first Democratic Senator from Arizona since 1995 by running as a moderate.

Politico points out that Schumer's willingness to consider turning on members of his own caucus stands in sharp contrast to the leadership styles of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

According to Politico, Pelosi has "argued numerous times that the party should lay off Manchin and Sinema, defending the pair in a press conference last week just after Schumer refused to disavow primary challenges to the two."

Likewise, McConnell "has not only tried to avoid allowing votes that would divide his conference, but also defended Republican moderates" like Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) "from attacks from the right."