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Democrats seek to turn Trump comments into action

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's happy dance when she was seated next to President Donald Trump in the White House ...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 6:16 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 6:17 AM

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's happy dance when she was seated next to President Donald Trump in the White House said it all.

While Democrats have yet to notch any major legislative victories in the age of Trump, they are increasingly hearing statements from him that are more in line with their talking points than the Republican President's party compatriots.

But the left is struggling with how to convert those impulses into reality.

Thursday's announcement from Trump that he would levy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports was the latest move that pleased Democrats while terrifying many Republicans -- with GOP senators swiftly criticizing the move.

Meanwhile, progressive Democrats like Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio hailed the move in language echoing Trump's own rhetoric on the campaign trail.

"This welcome action is long overdue for shuttered steel plants across Ohio and steelworkers who live in fear that their jobs will be the next victims of Chinese cheating. President Trump must follow through on his commitment today to save American steel jobs and stop Chinese steel overcapacity from continuing to infect global markets," Brown said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Trump had Feinstein shimmying with glee at a bipartisan meeting on gun control when he suggested adding the California Democrat's proposals -- which have been largely opposed by Republicans -- to a bipartisan bill from other senators on background checks, to the chagrin of the GOP lawmakers in the room.

The episode was evocative of another in recent memory: a similar bipartisan meeting Trump held in January on immigration, where he at times seemed to suggest he'd support passing clean relief for young undocumented immigrants who had come to the US as children, including in another conversation with Feinstein. At that meeting, Republican congressional leaders had to jump in to make clear the President was still pushing for border security as well. He told the lawmakers gathered that he'd sign whatever they sent him, even if he didn't like it.

That meeting, on a Tuesday, was followed up by another infamous meeting that Thursday, where Trump used vulgar language to reject a bipartisan proposal brought to him by some of those lawmakers, setting the tone for a scorched-earth campaign by the administration to reject Democrats' follow-up offers, push its own immigration proposal and torpedo a bipartisan effort as it gained momentum in the Senate.

The episode coined the famous "Tuesday Trump" vs. "Thursday Trump" metaphor from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a phrase lawmakers have continued to use to illustrate the difficulty of predicting where the President will land on any issue.

Still, Democrats are hoping they can use his public pronouncements to pin him down and coax him to their side of the policy aisle.

"I think we just keep repeating his own words in a positive way, like, 'This is what he said. He called them out and said that this is smart and it's something we should do,' " Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said after the Wednesday meeting on guns at the White House. "The immigration debate is one that haunts us right now, because he did say he was for certain things but then he kept adding things to it. And so if that keeps happening, we'll have to call them on it and we will say, 'If you're going to be there for us on these gun violence victims, you can't just say the words. You have to walk the walk. Not just talk the talk.' "

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has long been pressing Trump to make good on certain pledges, be it getting tough on trade with China -- like the steel move -- or delivering on immigration or guns.

In a news conference Thursday, Schumer urged the President to work with Democrats to get a gun proposal over the finish line and to push back against pro-gun interests like the National Rifle Association.

"I think he realizes it's the right thing to do," Schumer told CNN's Sunlen Serfaty when asked why Schumer would think Trump would follow through. "He knows it will help him politically. The $64,000 question is, when the NRA leadership starts coming down on him, will he resist?"

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7179161
DeSoto567863
Harrison391774
Jackson355370
Rankin334679
Madison333190
Lee280471
Forrest252476
Jones251580
Washington226379
Lafayette220840
Lauderdale2077126
Bolivar185770
Oktibbeha181152
Lamar174336
Lowndes159858
Neshoba1597104
Panola151231
Sunflower148546
Leflore142681
Warren141550
Pontotoc129316
Pike124953
Monroe124669
Copiah119933
Scott117727
Coahoma116730
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Holmes110060
Grenada109836
Yazoo106631
Simpson105047
Tate101238
Union100224
Leake96338
Adams94537
Wayne91221
Pearl River90953
Prentiss87918
Marion87136
Itawamba85021
Alcorn83211
Covington83023
George78413
Newton77824
Tallahatchie77724
Winston74619
Tishomingo70338
Chickasaw69224
Tippah68718
Attala67225
Clarke61048
Walthall60426
Clay59918
Hancock59522
Jasper58115
Noxubee55816
Smith54515
Calhoun52712
Tunica49915
Montgomery46920
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44214
Lawrence43714
Perry42821
Greene38917
Quitman3875
Stone37913
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34611
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll32312
Wilkinson30718
Kemper29115
Sharkey26614
Jefferson2429
Benton2333
Franklin1973
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19938351
Mobile13507293
Montgomery8866185
Tuscaloosa8837118
Madison798179
Shelby607449
Lee597161
Baldwin560650
Marshall397543
Calhoun355644
Etowah354845
Morgan333428
Houston293921
Elmore271948
DeKalb244321
St. Clair235936
Walker235485
Talladega217830
Limestone214420
Cullman191920
Dallas179826
Franklin179130
Autauga178727
Russell17683
Lauderdale175133
Colbert167726
Blount162115
Escambia161624
Jackson159712
Chilton159530
Covington140727
Dale140344
Coffee13716
Pike121611
Chambers117542
Tallapoosa117185
Clarke110316
Marion97529
Butler91740
Barbour8867
Winston75013
Marengo72620
Pickens67014
Randolph66613
Lowndes65927
Bibb65810
Hale64928
Geneva6444
Lawrence63425
Cherokee61713
Bullock60714
Clay5918
Monroe5908
Washington56012
Crenshaw54332
Perry5426
Conecuh53911
Wilcox53211
Henry5105
Macon48318
Fayette4689
Sumter43719
Cleburne3945
Lamar3822
Choctaw35112
Greene30515
Coosa1743
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