Senate

Schumer: Dems must ‘make corrections’ after election loss

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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday laid out a path forward for Democrats, arguing his caucus must refocus on an economic message. 
 
“I believe Democrats must take a hard look at what we can do better,” he said from the Senate floor, as part of his first speech as the minority leader. “Democrats did not do enough to show American workers that we are the party that has their backs.” 
 
He added the party must study its election loss and “make corrections and move forward” after Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College but won the popular vote. 
 
{mosads}Democrats have been locked in a fierce debate about the future of the party since Clinton’s loss, including a proxy war over who will lead the Democratic National Committee. 
 
Clinton’s team and top Democrats, including former Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), have pointed to FBI Director James Comey’s late letter about the investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information as a key contributor to her defeat. 
 
Schumer added on Tuesday that while it easy to blame “outside forces,” Democrats have to focus on looking forward, including doubling down on “economic justice.” 
 
“Senate Democrats will once again recommit ourselves to a set of principles that has always been at the core of the party,” he said. 
 
The New York Democrat argued that an economic message aimed at middle-class Americans could help unite the factions of the Senate caucus, ranging from constituents of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 
 
“What’s needed from we Democrats is a bigger, bolder, sharper-edged economic program that addresses how those struggling to stay in the middle class can stay there,” he said. 
 
He added that Democrats will offer proposals as an “alternative path” during the Trump era and urged Republicans to help them pass the upper chamber. 
 
“As the year wears on and it becomes clear that Democratic proposals are what the American people want and need, I hope many will,” he said. “[But] we cannot delude anyone that this Congress will start tomorrow taking up priorities of the Democratic minority.” 
 
Democrats have 48 seats, including Sanders and Sen. Angus King, two independents who caucus with the party. So they would need to pick up the support of at least 12 Republicans to overcome a filibuster and get their legislation passed.
Tags Angus King Bernie Sanders Charles Schumer Harry Reid Hillary Clinton Joe Manchin

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