Watch: Chuck Schumer elicits groans with ill-timed rant on Senate floor
On Thursday night, 11 Senate Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to end the debate on the deal to extend the debt ceiling until December. They’d reached a bipartisan agreement to avoid an economic catastrophe and were milling about on the Senate floor, talking amongst themselves. And at that moment, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) decided to launch into a rant against the Republicans.
“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work,” Schumer said. “Despite immense opposition from Leader McConnell and members of his conference, our caucus held together and we pulled our country back from the cliff’s edge that Republicans tried to push us over.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. VA), who has pushed for bipartisanship, was visibly displeased with Schumer’s remarks. Video footage shows him shake his head and put his head in his hands. Eventually, about halfway through Schumer’s four-minute speech, Manchin gets up and walks away.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” Manchin later told reporters. “We have to de-weaponize. You can’t be playing politics. None of us can — on both sides,” Manchin said. “Civility is gone.”
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who voted to end the filibuster and pass the measure, said he confronted Schumer after his comments.
“I thought it was totally out of line,” Thune said. “I just thought it was an incredibly partisan speech after we had just helped him solve a problem.”
“I let him have it,” he added.