Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer pledged Wednesday to reach across the aisle next Congress with his slightly expanded majority following the reelection of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia.
But the New York Democrat emphasized that his bipartisanship would extend to only “non-MAGA Republicans,” telling reporters that Mr. Warnock’s victory over Trump-backed Republican Herschel Walker in the Tuesday runoff was further evidence that loyalty to the ex-president was not what voters wanted.
“I think there are going to be a whole lot of areas where the non-MAGA Republicans are going to want to work with us, [not only] for the good of the country, but for their own survival,” he said. “It will just not work. It will just not work if they pursue a MAGA line.”
Mr. Walker’s narrow defeat to Mr. Warnock etched another loss into Mr. Trump’s track record this election cycle, in which Republicans underperformed by narrowly taking the House and suffering a net loss of one in the Senate, delivering Democrats a 51-49 majority.
“I think a good number of the non-MAGA Republicans … realize that if they follow a MAGA direction, they’re going to lose. So I think there’s going to be a real imperative for them to work with us,” Mr. Schumer said. “We’re not going to get everything we want. They won’t get everything they want. But I think it’s in everybody’s interest that Democrats and a significant number of non-MAGA Republicans in both the House and Senate work together.
He added, “I am going to pursue that with the same kind of energy that we pursued winning this election.”
SEE ALSO: Warnock scores narrow win in Georgia runoff, gives Democrats 51st Senate seat
The promise was met with skepticism and irritation from Senate Republicans, who fumed just a few short months ago when Democrats rammed through a major tax-and-climate-spending bill without any GOP votes via a special avenue for budget legislation that let them usurp the chamber’s 60-vote filibuster.
“Who are the non-MAGA Republicans?” said GOP Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, who was endorsed by Mr. Trump. “Does he get to choose?”
As evidence of his sincerity, Mr. Schumer highlighted the Senate‘s other achievements this year on various bipartisan pieces of legislation.
In a split-screen moment around the same time Mr. Schumer made his remarks, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Democrats on the floor for trying to include unrelated measures into a bipartisan annual defense policy bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act.
“I’m glad this Democrat-led Congress finally realized that defending America is a basic governing duty. It’s not some Republican priority that Democrats can demand unrelated goodies to be wheeled into,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Neither party, let alone a sitting president’s party, can ever have the mindset that they need to be goaded or bartered into supporting our troops. We made it clear we wouldn’t be going down that road. Our Democratic colleagues finally accepted it.”