Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is using Donald Trump against Republicans by demanding that the GOP allow a vote on Donald Trump’s Muslim ban in exchange for help on a Syrian refugee screening bill.
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) laid out the strategy in a floor speech, saying Democrats will help Republicans secure the 60 votes needed to advance the bill to make screening standards stricter for refugees from Iraq and Syria — but only if they get four amendment votes, including on Trump’s Muslim ban.
“Republican leaders, including the speaker and the Republican leader, have pledged loyalty to Donald Trump and his disgraceful policies,” Reid said. “As the front-runner of the Republican nomination, Donald Trump and his proposals are leading the public debate in our country. Republicans who support these illogical plans should be prepared for the next logical step: voting on his vision of America.”
Harry Reid is not letting Republicans have it both ways. On one hand, Republicans are all pledging their loyalty to Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination. On the other hand, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to keep his fragile Republican majority as far away from Trump’s agenda as humanly possible.
McConnell doesn’t want anything to do with Trump. In fact, he was one of the establishment Republicans who attended a secret dinner to discuss ways to take the nomination away from Trump at the Republican convention. McConnell and other Senate Republicans don’t want to alienate the Trump voters that they view as essential in their bid to keep control of the Senate, but an actual vote on any of Trump’s racist ideas is a no-win situation that could doom the Republican Senate majority.
In other words, Harry Reid has once again outwitted Mitch McConnell. The Republicans senators don’t want to take an on the record vote on Trump’s Muslim ban idea, but the GOP won’t get their show vote on the Syrian refugee bill without shackling themselves to Donald Trump.
Democrats are already having a ball with forcing Republicans to stand with Trump. Harry Reid gave Republicans just a taste of what they can expect if Trump wins the Republican nomination. Every Republican primary vote for Trump is another step towards Democrats taking back the Senate.