Player of the Week: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill This week: Senate wrapping up defense bill after amendment fight Cuomo warns Dems against cutting DACA deal with Trump MORE has a lot on his plate this week.

The New York Democrat is trying to forge major compromises on two high-profile pieces of President Obama’s domestic agenda: immigration reform and gun control.

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Schumer and Sen. Tom CoburnTom Coburn-trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Al Franken: 'I make fun of the people who deserved it' The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit MORE (R-Okla.) were close to a deal on background checks earlier this year, but they couldn’t agree on the details. Now, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is up for reelection in 2016, is emerging as a possible GOP partner.

Schumer, who helped pass the 1994 assault weapons ban in the House, has long known that reinstating that ban is not going to pass during this Congress. But he has called background checks the “sweet spot” of gun-control efforts.

Meanwhile, the “Gang of Eight,” which includes Schumer, is close to an agreement on immigration reform. Schumer, the No. 3-ranked Senate Democrat, said bill language could emerge this week.

Passing both gun control and immigration reform will be extraordinarily difficult, but Schumer has gained the trust of key Republicans such as Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration MORE (Fla.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (Ariz.).

Over the weekend, McCain criticized some of his fellow Republicans who are vowing to filibuster gun-control legislation, saying, “I don’t understand it. What are we afraid of?”

Schumer was instrumental in getting the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to reach a deal on an immigration plan for low-skilled workers, which had been a major obstacle to a deal.

Still, there is no agreement until all eight senators have signed off on bill language.

Like any dealmaker, Schumer has taken some friendly fire from his base. Immigration activists are worried that he and the other seven senators are focusing too much on border security.

Gun-control groups are concerned that gun legislation is being watered down to attract GOP support.

To have a successful 2013, Obama needs the Senate to act soon on gun-control and immigration legislation. That means he needs Schumer to broker deals that have so far been elusive.