Democrats emboldened by President Trump’s sinking poll numbers are playing hardball on spending and guns legislation, arguing they now have new leverage with Republicans and the White House.
Republicans say a budget deal reached before the recess now appears in doubt after Senate Democrats on Tuesday insisted on an amendment to block Trump’s Title X rule, which prohibits funds for health care providers who share information about abortion.
At the same time, Democrats are gearing up to reject a gun violence proposal expected from the White House as soon as Thursday if it falls short of the proposal sponsored in 2013 by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), which garnered only four Republican votes at the time.
It’s a shift for Senate Democrats, who at times during the Trump era have voted with Republicans on high-profile bills. The shift underscores the party’s growing confidence that Trump could be defeated next fall, and it comes as a number of polls have shown various Democrats defeating Trump in head-to-head match-ups.
“He’s an unpopular president doing unpopular things,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
“This is not terribly complicated,” added Schatz, who criticized Trump for repurposing funds for military projects to pay for the wall on the border, an action he argued violated the law.