Schumer And Manchin Blinded Mitch McConnell By Using Secret Basement Negotiations

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Mitch McConnell was completely taken aback by the Manchin and Schumer deal that had come about during secret negotiations in the basement.

The Washington Post reported:

Quietly, Manchin seemed to be fishing for a deal that very day. The senator’s staff had approached Schumer’s aides in the morning and put forward a new counter-proposal: Democrats could try to pass a bill in August, including money for climate change.

The plea set the stage for a silent meeting between the two lawmakers that afternoon in the labyrinthine basement of the Capitol, in a conference room that Schumer didn’t even realize at first. They left with a handshake agreement to at least try again before the August recess. Manchin later recalled it, telling reporters his message to the majority leader was that he had not “run away”, adding: “This is ridiculous. We can recalibrate, see if something can be done about it.”

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The news came as an even bigger surprise to Republicans, who that day were huddled with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to plan how to further thwart the Democrats’ agenda.

The story of the Manchin and Schumer deal shows that Democrats can play hard and win. Democrats are also much better at negotiating in secret than Republicans, and Mitch McConnell is vastly overrated as a master Senate strategist.

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Republicans are furious because they had no idea the deal was coming. Many Democrats did not know. The media didn’t know. Employees didn’t know. Even the people in the White House didn’t know.

The Schumer-Manchin deal was a return to old-fashioned politics when two senators sat down and worked it out, and Mitch McConnell was powerless to stop senators from negotiating the way the US legislative process should work.