Why the Democrats’ Three-month Budget Deal With Trump is a Huge Win

by David Nir – On Wednesday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the House and Senate Democratic leaders, announced that they’d reached a wide-ranging deal with Donald Trump to pass aid for Hurricane Harvey victims, raise the limit on the amount of money the U.S. can borrow, and keep the government funded through December 15, averting a shutdown that looms at the end of September. The agreement represents an extraordinary capitulation by Trump and a major humiliation for Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, but why is it such a massive victory for Democrats? In a word, leverage—or more accurately, maintaining leverage. Right now, because the GOP is a non-functioning political party beholden to conservative radicals, it simply can’t pass critical must-pass legislation, like the spending bills that ensure the federal government keeps running. In order to keep the lights on, therefore, Republican leaders need votes from Democrats, meaning that Pelosi and Schumer hold a fat stack of bargaining chips despite...

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