(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Senators working together across the aisle is nothing new, but getting together in a group to negotiate is certainly in vogue, and what’s more, the “gangs” might have a window to cut through the dysfunction.
A loose governing coalition appears to be emerging, with roughly a third of the Senate’s Republicans joining nearly every Democrat in various deals to avert the “nuclear option” and pass the immigration overhaul — and, down the line, potentially avert a budget crisis.
“I think you’re going to find bipartisan groups doing many different things, more than before,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters Wednesday following the rollout of a new gang pushing media shield legislation.
“In the Senate, you have to work in a bipartisan way,” Schumer said. “We are legislators. We like to legislate, and it’s not very satisfying to just go to the floor and make a speech knowing that it won’t have any result in making the country a better place.”
Schumer’s been in the middle of two of the biggest bipartisan deals in recent months. He was a member of the “gang of eight” that drafted the Senate’s immigration overhaul, and more recently he worked with some of the same senators (and a few newcomers) on the deal to get a number of executive branch nominees lined up for confirmation without deploying the nuclear option to change precedents with a simple majority vote to curb filibusters.