Democratic Sen. Chris Coons (Del.) on Monday warned potential 2020 presidential candidates about trying to move farther to the left to find solutions on issues like immigration.
MSNBC host Kasie Hunt said that potential Democratic candidates for president in 2020 are facing pressure from progressive activists after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) reached an agreement with Republican lawmakers to reopen the federal government Monday. She said the divide in the party on Schumer’s deal was evident, and she asked what would result.
“Who do you think is going to end up being on the right side of this?” Hunt asked.
“I know what the people of Delaware asked me to do overwhelmingly, which is to come here and to try and find solutions,” Coons answered. “I spent a huge amount of time this weekend meeting with and listening to individual Senators, Republicans and Democrats, and then with a larger and larger group of Republicans and Democrats.”
Coons said that he doesn’t care what issues will appeal to the Democratic base in a primary that is still years away, saying he would rather focus on finding solutions for issues now.
“For my colleagues who are hoping that they might be on the ticket in 2020, I don’t think simply moving further and further to left is the best way to accomplish that,” Coons said. “I think showing we can solve big problems is the way to encourage people to believe that Democrats belong in control of the Congress and back in the White House.”
On Friday, all but five Democrats voted against a short-term continuing resolution, which would have avoided a government shutdown. As a result of the Democrat’s filibuster over the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, 60 votes were needed to pass the measure, making it impossible for Republicans to pass the continuing without at least some Democratic support. The action by Democrats effectively guaranteed a shutdown
Less than three full days later, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced on Monday afternoon that he reached a deal with Senate Republican leaders to reopen the government. He said lawmakers would be on track to pass a plan that allows the government to be funded for three weeks.
On Monday evening after Coons’ remarks, the House and Senate followed through by passing a bill to fund the government through February 8.
Four of the 16 Democrats who voted against the bill have been floated as potential 2020 contenders, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.). Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also voted against the bill.
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