Why Chuck Schumer is likely to keep his leadership role after the midterms: report
In 2022, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer finds himself in a similar position to that of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Despite some people wanting to replace him, Schumer seems to be secure as leader of his party in the U.S. Senate. It remains to be seen whether or not Democrats will maintain their narrow majority in the Senate, but if recent polls of Senate races in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio and Arizona are any indication, Democrats have a good shot at holding the Senate in the midterms — and perhaps even flipping a few GOP-held seats.
According to Politico’s Burgess Everett, there is a good chance that Schumer will still be the Democratic leader in the Senate in 2023.
“As House Democrats brace for a potential leadership shakeup if they lose power this fall,” Everett reports in an article published on August 29, “Chuck Schumer and his team are settling in across the Capitol regardless of who is in charge…. The most intrigue in the caucus is over who will chair the party’s campaign committee through a 2024 cycle with a rough map. But there’s little chance of a challenge to Schumer — or anyone else for that matter, at least at the moment.”
Schumer is up for reelection in 2022, and pundits wondered whether or not he would face a Democratic primary challenge from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City. But AOC decided against that, and Schumer is now going up against Republican nominee Joe Pinion in the general election. If he wins, Schumer will begin a fifth term in January 2023. An Emerson College poll released in early August found Pinion trailing Schumer by 22 percent.
Schumer has a great deal of momentum going into November’s midterms. He was a major cheerleader for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace the retired Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. And he played a key role in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, working out a deal with centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. After passing in both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill was signed into law by Biden on August 16.
“Their leadership team has earned another two years, in Senate Democrats’ view,” Everett reports. “After a 2021 with a party-line win on coronavirus recovery and a bipartisan infrastructure law, Schumer led the way this year on a huge follow-up filibuster-proof bill focused on taxes, health care and climate change. That’s on top of bipartisan deals on microchip manufacturing and firearm access, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and even student loan relief sought by Schumer.”
Everett adds, “What’s more, Senate Democrats are in contention to hold the Senate — and Schumer thinks they might even pick up seats. It’s a clear contrast with the House, where Democrats are fighting long odds in their bid to keep the chamber.”
Even if Democrats don’t hold the Senate, Everett reports, Schumer is likely to remain as Democratic leader in that chamber of Congress.
According to Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, more Democrats than not are pleased with Schumer’s leadership in the Senate.
Schatz told Politico, “You don’t get major legislation through without a few people (being) grouchy about a few things. But victory has a way of healing.”
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