Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) commended Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday for his effort to end the debt and budget crises, while arguing that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the tea party faction of the GOP “have peaked.”
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Schumer praised McConnell for his role in producing a deal to re-open the government until Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
“He was a profile in courage,” Schumer said of McConnell. “He’s got more political pressure on him than John Boehner and yet once he realized — he didn’t rush to the front — but once he realized the House was tied in a knot, his responsibility to the Senate as an institution and more importantly to the country came to the fore.”
Schumer said he thinks the resolution to the crises will represent a watershed moment for the likes of Cruz and the tea party.
“I think the tea party and Ted Cruz have peaked,” Schumer said. “First, they’ve so alienated their colleagues. But second, the tactics of the tea party — ‘I’m gonna hurt a lot of innocent people unless I get my way’ — this is the first time it was in the spotlight, that the American people saw it. They didn’t like it. The Republican Party has learned a lesson here. And I think you’re gonna see a more mainstream conservative Republican Party. I don’t think we’ll have the same kind of brinksmanship on Jan. 15 and Feb. 7.”
Polls across the board showed the GOP taking a massive hit from the first government shutdown since 1996. Findings released Wednesday by Pew Research Center showed favorability of the tea party falling to a new low.
This post has been updated.