By MICHAEL KREUTZMAN, AP Washington (AP) The president’s approval rating is sinking, but the president and his allies aren’t backing down on their plan to make the nation’s capital the epicenter of American politics.
Trump’s disapproval rating is higher than ever and he remains in a high-stakes battle with Democrats over how to pass a sweeping infrastructure bill.
The president has repeatedly said he’ll push his agenda through Congress and is hoping for an early endorsement from Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
If Trump doesn’t deliver on that promise, Schumer says, it could open the door for a potential Democratic wave in 2018 that could cost Democrats seats in the midterm elections.
“I think that the president is very, very much committed to getting that infrastructure bill done and that he’s going to try to get it done,” Schumer said in an interview.
“And that’s where we are right now.”
Schumer has been under fire from Republicans for trying to force through the massive tax overhaul without a Democratic vote, a move that has alienated Republicans in his party and caused the president to criticize him as a “Drain the Swamp” president.
Schumer has vowed to keep pushing Trump’s agenda through the House.
The tax bill, which is expected to pass the House with Democrats’ support, would help millions of low-income workers and lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
It also would give Trump more leeway to pursue trade deals with countries that aren’t part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that Trump says is an unfair trade deal and that Republicans say is good for the United States.
Republicans say they’ll try to block the tax bill.
They also say the legislation would benefit the wealthy and businesses, and that Democrats are going to have to support a huge increase in the minimum wage to meet the needs of working Americans.
Democrats are trying to build a base of support with a series of events that highlight the impact the president has had on the economy.
Trump has said he will push for tax cuts and infrastructure spending to keep the economy strong.
Schumer and other Democrats say the president can’t afford to be a distraction for a struggling economy.
Schumer said the president needs to work with Republicans to find common ground to pass legislation, such as a temporary payroll tax holiday that would keep people working but cut taxes for everyone else.
Schumer also said that he and Trump agreed that Democrats should be able to work together on health care and education.
Schumer called Trump’s recent comments that he would work to prevent the election of Hillary Clinton from happening a “distraction” and said Trump is in a “very difficult spot” because of the public perception that he has broken the law by attacking a former rival.
“If he doesn’t give up and get behind this agenda, the president will be faced with the choice between not passing it, which could result in losing seats in next year’s elections, or having to get behind it, and he has to do it,” Schumer told reporters at a news conference.
Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference later today with his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who has been pushing the president for a big infrastructure package.
In addition to his tax and infrastructure bills, Trump also wants a major overhaul of the nations Social Security system, which Republicans have said will be complicated and raise taxes.