Suddenly, it seems like Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) are driving the agenda in Congress.
The deal President Trump struck with the two Democrats over the objection of the majority leaders in his own party has at least temporarily upended the balance of power in Washington, emboldening Democrats who now see space to work with Trump on immigration and spending.
It’s a dramatic shift from Trump’s first seven months in office, when the president worked almost exclusively with Republicans and Democrats were largely an afterthought.
But the past 24 hours have laid bare Trump’s deep frustration with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The White House has grown tired of Republican leaders rebuking or handcuffing the president instead of enacting his agenda, particularly after months of work on an ObamaCare repeal bill ended in a disastrous defeat.
In an Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, “Trump overruled Ryan and McConnell in front of Pelosi and Schumer” and “agreed to raise the debt ceiling on a short-term basis without any spending concessions to the Democrats, even after GOP leaders made the case for an extension that would last beyond next year’s elections.”
Stunned Republicans vented their frustration with the turn of events.
“Do your constituents know that Charles Schumer, whose title is minority leader, not majority, just made himself the most powerful man in America for the month of December?” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) wrote to Trump.
“This is an embarrassing moment for a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican administration.”
Democrats, meanwhile, were gleeful over the divisions they’ve sown among Republicans and at their suddenly cozy relationship with the president.
Schumer and Pelosi have spoken multiple times with Trump since the Oval Office shocker and have crowed about their gains through media leaks and press conferences.
Pelosi spoke to Trump by phone on Thursday morning and asked him to assure the young immigrants impacted by his decision to phase-out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that they won’t be deported in the next six months.
Stunningly, he did just that.
Trump’s plan B.