US can't afford 'Twitter presidency': Senate Democratic leader

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-04 09:54


US can't afford 'Twitter presidency': Senate Democratic leader

File photo shows US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks to journalist after attending the Senate Democrat party leadership elections at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US November 16, 2016.[Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - Democratic leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer slammed President-elect Donald Trump for his twitter habit, claiming that the United States can't afford "Twitter presidency" on the first day of the 115th session of Congress Tuesday.

"'Making America Great Again' requires more than 140 characters per issue," Schumer said in his first speech as Senate minority leader on the day when the two-year 115th Congress kick-started, referring to Trump's well-known campaign slogan.

"With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency. We have real challenges and we need to get real things done," said Schumer, also warning that the incoming President will fail if he sticks with a "Twitter presidency".

"Many Americans are afraid, Mr. President-elect, that instead of rolling up your sleeves and forging serious policies ... for you, Twitter suffices." he told the Senate chamber.

"There's nothing wrong with using Twitter to speak to the American people," Schumer said. "It's a good use of modern media. But these issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. We cannot tweet them away."

"If President-elect Trump lets the hard-right members of Congress and his cabinet run the show, if he attempts to adopt their time-worn policies which benefit the elites, the special interests, corporate America-not the working man and woman-his presidency will not succeed," Schumer said,"Maybe not in the first 90 days, but certainly not in the first two years."

The Democratic leader said that Trump's tweet "bragging" about the 800 jobs he saved at the Carrier plant in Indiana "doesn't solve the underlying problem."

"While it's good the 800 jobs were saved ... even at Carrier, 1,300 jobs are still leaving, hundreds more at the nearby Rexnord plant that are going overseas, and most importantly, thousands more each month leave our shores from every part of America," Schumer said. "Tweeting about 800 jobs you saved is not a re-manufacturing policy. That's not an economic policy."

Democrats are "going to hold the President-elect accountable for a real policy to stop jobs from leaving the country," Schumer said, adding that his party will work with Trump and Senate Republicans to create more jobs and improve the country's transportation systems.

After new senators are sworn in by Biden while House members by Ryan Tuesday afternoon, Republicans will have a 52-48 advantage in the Senate and a hefty 241-194 majority in the House.

The two mainstream parties now represent two very different America across the Congress. Eighty-seven percent of House Republicans will be white men, who only account for 41 percent of House Democrats, according to the independent Cok Political Report.

In sharp comparison, the makeup of Democrats in two chambers is much more racially diverse and largely metropolitan, including districts in and around cities and along the two coasts of the United States.

Since most legislation needs 60 votes in the Senate, Republicans still have to garner bipartisan support to fulfil their major policy tasks such as reforming the immigration system, passing spending bills, raising the federal borrowing limit as well as repealing and replacing the whole package of Obamacare.

Intense partisan wrestling are sure to set off across the new Congress. Though Democrats don't have the votes to block many of Republicans' actions, they are lining up with vows to fight against nevertheless.


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