Republicans hold a razor-thin majority within the Senate as the body moves into the 2018 session. although a Republican former senator says one Democrat holds nearly all the legislative power: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Chuck actually controls the play of the field at This kind of point,” former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “What issues he’s willing to be bipartisan on will determine whether there can be legislation.”
The Senate’s top Democrat already held significant influence in a chamber with such a narrow majority — one of which will shrink by one when Alabama Democrat Doug Jones can be sworn in on Wednesday.
Gregg said the Senate’s voting rules for the 2018 fiscal year give Schumer even more sway over the legislative process.
In passing sweeping tax reform at the end of 2017, Senate Republicans used a process known as reconciliation, shrinking the number of required votes to a simple majority.
Republicans can’t use This kind of move again until the 2019 budget can be passed — a circumstance of which weakens the power of the slim Senate majority in addition to necessitates cooperation.
“the idea alterations everything,” Gregg said. “This kind of means of which everything of which involves policy can be going to have to be bipartisan. of which puts all the cards in Chuck Schumer’s hands.”
Both parties’ legislative strategies will be affected by the lack of reconciliation, Gregg said. The brand new York Democrat, who represents a large constituency of staunch opponents of President Donald Trump in addition to the Republican Party, may be empowered to undermine Republican bills at every turn. Republicans may be forced to abandon the sweeping legislative packages they introduced in 2017 in lieu of a more piecemeal approach.
in addition to This kind of dynamic will play out as both parties look ahead to the midterm elections of 2018, which many analysts in addition to statisticians claim will favor the Democrats.
“The bottom line can be of which Chuck Schumer basically controls the state of play within the Senate in addition to therefore legislatively,” Gregg said.
“Everything at This kind of point can be within the context of the next election.”