The Senate’s top Democrat on Tuesday defended his party’s move to kill a major financial aid package that was backed by President Donald Trump, saying that the GOP-led Senate had failed to adequately vet the deal.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters that Democrats would continue to work to improve financial aid to communities and small businesses, but it was clear that the deal needed to be approved by the Senate Finance Committee.
“We’re going to continue to try to work with the president to get a better bill that works for all Americans,” Schumer said.
“We’ve got to pass it.”
Schumer said that he believed Democrats were on the right track to do so and that he would have been pleased if Republicans had not blocked the legislation.
Schumer’s comments came amid growing pressure from Senate Democrats to allow a vote on the GOP plan to fix the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats have been pressing for the measure, which they say would have helped thousands of low-income people and their families, to be included on a long-term spending bill to keep the government open through the end of the year.
Republicans have said that the legislation, if approved, would not take effect until January, but Senate Democrats are pressing Republicans to delay that date until after a shutdown in 2019.
Schuyler also said that Schumer would continue working with Senate Democrats on financial aid, which has been a key issue for the party in the past.
He said he had met with Democratic Sens.
Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, two Democrats in the Senate Banking Committee, and they were working with Democrats on the Senate Financial Services Committee to improve the bill.
Schumburg also said he would continue negotiating with the White House and congressional leaders on other matters.