Schumer: Relationship with Republicans getting better

Schumer: Relationship with Republicans getting better
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said relationships between Democrats and Republicans in Congress are improving, but he said he feels the White House has not done enough to support lawmakers.

"We are actually working together in a pretty good way," Schumer told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday. "I think this will happen more and more and more."

"Our Republican friends, I think, want to work with us. I think sometimes the president gets in the way of that. But I think you are going to see us working together more and more," he repeated. "I have even gotten [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE (R-Ky.)] to laugh at my jokes."

Schumer pointed at U.S. trade policy with China as one issue that could bridge the gap between Democrats in Congress and the Trump administration.

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The New York Democrat even remarked that he was "closer" to Trump on the issue than he was to former Presidents Obama or George W. Bush.

"I was closer in trade policy to Donald Trump than I was to George Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPompeo’s retreat into chaos Barack Obama wishes Michelle a happy birthday: 'You’re one of a kind' NY Times prints special section featuring women of the 116th Congress MORE," Schumer remarked. He added that he wants Trump to follow through on his campaign rhetoric to stand up to China economically.

Trump has repeatedly accused China of ripping the U.S. off economically with currency manipulation and steel dumping.

"Months ago I spoke to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSalvation Army offers to cover furloughed federal workers' electric, gas bills in Virginia Beer lobby struggles with shutdown On The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts MORE and I said, ‘You should get tough on China on trade,'" Schumer said in the interview. "Trade is the thing they care about, and they have been treating us very badly on trade for a long time, frankly.

"If we got tough on them now, maybe they would relent," he added. "So far, the administration has not been as tough as they should be."