- Schumer's latest deals bolster his case for keeping the majority in 2023, a strategist says.
- Should Republicans retake the House, the strategist said the heat's likely off Schumer for a bit.
- Delivering now should earn Schumer some downtime as House GOP focuses on destroying Biden.
Assuming he lands a pair of breakthrough deals pumping new life into Democrats' languishing agenda, a Democratic strategist says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may get some breathing room next year as the political battlefield shifts from his narrowly-divided chamber to a GOP-led House aiming its newly reclaimed weapons at the Biden administration.
"A majority leader Schumer might have a little bit less pressure on him and a little bit less attention, because should the House flip … it literally becomes House Republicans versus the White House. That would be next year's story," Rodell Mollineau, a former aide to late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the cofounder of political consulting firm Rokk Solutions, told Insider in an interview. Mollineau added that in that scenario "the Senate will probably be an afterthought."
The months Schumer spent trying to hammer out bipartisan agreements on a China-related business investment bill and a revamped reconciliation package that centrist Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia could actually go along with (after torpedoing earlier efforts) seemed to finally pay off on Wednesday with the passage of the CHIPS package and Manchin's surprise endorsement of the swirling Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
The stunning maneuvers, along with new polling projections from Decision Desk HQ showing that Senate Democrats have a 56.8% chance of keeping control of the 50-50 Senate next year — a 12-point swing in their favor over the past month — might grant Schumer a temporary reprieve in 2023, Mollineau said.
Mollineau said losing the House, which appears likely given historical trends and Biden's dismal approval ratings, would redirect the spotlight toward GOP efforts to usher one of their own back into the Oval Office.
"They are going to overreach. And I'm sure it's going to be entertaining to watch, if not also harmful to the country," Mollineau said of the anticipated retaliatory investigations against members of the January 6 select committee and a potential flood of "ridiculous pieces of legislation that have no chance of ever passing in the United States Senate" from MAGA devotees looking to flex their majority powers.