President Donald Trump has shown a new willingness to work with Democrats this week in the wake of the deal he struck with party leaders on the debt ceiling.
Trump sided with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Wednesday night and came to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling in order to fund a Hurricane Harvey relief bill. Republican leaders objected but the deal was struck.
That, coupled with Trump's Wednesday visit to North Dakota during which he praised a Democratic senator from that state, could signal somewhat of a power shift in Washington, according to The Hill.
Trump's decision to reach across the aisle will likely give Democrats a boost as they face the Republican-controlled House and Senate. Congress has come up short on passing healthcare legislation this year and has not yet come to an agreement on tax reform or the budget. Trump has not been shy about criticizing his own party leaders.
On Thursday, he appeared to be more friendly with Democratic Party leaders, referring to Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as "Chuck and Nancy."
"Is he annoyed at Republican leadership? Yeah, I think he probably is," White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said, The Hill reports. "And believe me, as a Republican, so am I. As a citizen, I am, too. I was promised that they would have repealed and replaced Obamacare by now."
Pelosi even appeared to influence a Trump tweet. After she spoke with him Thursday morning about providing reassurance to people who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the current form of which will be phased out in March, he tweeted this:
At Trump's invitation, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., traveled to her home state with Trump — a state he won in the election last fall — on Wednesday. During his remarks on stage, Trump called her a "good woman" and asked her to support his tax reform plan.
Some Republicans are celebrating Trump's embrace of Democrats, saying House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have not been productive enough.
"He's given Ryan and McConnell every opportunity to actually do something and they've clearly not been up to literally anything," Ned Ryun, who worked in the George W. Bush administration, told The Hill.
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