Inside the Pence-Schumer showdown – POLITICO

For two straight days, Mike Pence and Chuck Schumer traded proposals and sat face-to-face in a breakneck sequence of meetings to prevent — then quickly end — a government shutdown.In reality, though, the back-channel talks never stood a chance.The failure by two men with little shared history and no apparent personal chemistry highlighted a critical difference between this showdown and those in the past: For years under President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell each maneuvered his party out of repeated political crises. But under President Donald Trump, who’s made no concerted effort to establish a genuine rapport with congressional Democrats, there’s no such release valve.That’s largely why the two sides find themselves with no obvious way out of a week-plus government shutdown that’s threatening to stretch well into January.Pence and Schumer (D-N.Y.) approached the shutdown assignment under near-impossible conditions — with Trump demanding his border wall money and Democrats just as insistent he not get it. On top of that, the schmoozing Brooklynite and buttoned-up Hoosier lack the relationship that Biden and McConnell had built up over decades working together in the Senate.And they have minimal political space to strike a deal, as questions persist whether anyone, even the vice president, can negotiate on behalf of Trump.

Source: Inside the Pence-Schumer showdown – POLITICO


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