Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asserted himself as a barrier to President-elect Donald Trump should he fail to represent "the working man and woman" in his first speech as Democrats' leader in the Senate, according to The Washington Post.
"Too many of his Cabinet picks support the same, hard-right, doctrinaire positions that many in the Republican Party have held for years — policies that the American people have repeatedly rejected," Schumer said in his first speech of the new year.
"If Donald Trump lets the hard-right members of Congress and his Cabinet run the show . . . if he adopts their timeworn policies — which represent the elites, special interests and corporate America, not the working man and woman — his presidency will not succeed."
The minority leader told the nearly empty chamber to watch Trump's first two years in office closely.
"If the president-elect proposes legislation that achieves that — on issues like infrastructure, trade, and closing the carried interest loophole, for instance — we will work in good faith to perfect and, potentially, enact it," he said. "When he doesn't, we will resist. But what we will always do is hold the president-elect and his Republican colleagues in Congress accountable."
Trump reportedly likes Schumer more than most Republicans do, but the New York Democrat told CNN that he took this remark "with a grain of salt," and said it wouldn't affect his approach to the incoming president.
"Look, I don't know Donald Trump very well. I never played golf with him, I never had a meal with him. I'd cross his path at things in New York. But that's going to have very little effect," he added. "My guiding light is going to be the principles of our party and what I think are the right principles of our country: helping the middle class, helping those trying to get there."
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