Mar 26, 2017

Trump sees Black Caucus as potential policy ally

Andrew Harnik / AP

The healthcare fiasco taught President Trump he can't accomplish big things with just one party. He's looking to work with Democrats but his inner circle anticipates total opposition from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Some in that circle, however, believe there's an opportunity to go through the Congressional Black Caucus, a Democratic group Trump met with last week.

Sam Geduldig, a Republican lobbyist at CGCN Group, has been working with African-American lobbyists on just such a project.

"There is a path for bipartisan victories in Congress," Geduldig says. "A coalition of Black Caucus Democrats and Republicans is kryptonite to rich white liberals. Imagine a tax and infrastructure bill that provides tax cuts for Republicans and new pipes for Flint, Michigan. How do Stabenow and Peters [Michigan's U.S. Senators] justify voting no?"

One of these Democrat lobbyists, Jennifer Stewart of Stewart Strategies and Solutions, tells me she opposes the left's resistance movement because "resistance isn't going to get anything for our communities." She says unusual political times demand unusual methods.

Note of caution: Another lobbyist working on Geduldig's project, Mike Williams of the Williams Group, tells me CBC members are leery of being "used as a photo op." Williams says this will only work if Trump brings them in to help write the legislation, whether it concerns educational opportunities, prescription drug prices, or infrastructure investment.

Go deeper