Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said congressional Democrats are on the offensive as Republicans struggle to figure out how to replace popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Schumer also responded to President Donald Trump’s supporters who booed the senator’s speech at the inauguration, saying that their reaction “speaks poorly” of them.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Jake Tepper: “We’ve had a very strong two weeks because they’re in such a pickle.” He said Republicans now face the difficulty of replacing parts of the law like those guaranteeing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to be on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26.
He said repealing the laws without replacing those provisions “would be catastrophic.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Saturday that Senate Democrats were “playing politics with national security” by not confirming Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas as CIA director.
Schumer said Republicans were trying to rush through Senate picks.
Only two of Trump’s Cabinet-level nominees have been confirmed so far, compared with seven at the same point in 2009 after then-President Barack Obama took office, Tapper said.
Regarding his speech Friday at Trump’s inauguration, Schumer said he didn’t hear the boos but was told about them afterward.
“That speech given with any other president, any other audience would’ve been cheered,” Schumer said. “The fact people didn’t like it speaks poorly of them, not the speech.”
In his five-minute speech preceding Trump’s, he said the country faces challenges “both foreign and domestic” and was divided, but should come together.
“Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity. Whether we are immigrant or native-born. Whether we live with disabilities or do not. In wealth or in poverty, we are all exceptional in our commonly held, yet fierce devotion to our country,” Schumer said. Republicans have criticized the speech as partisan.