Much like the presidential contest, Democrat Charles Schumer and his Republican challenger, Wendy Long, offer starkly different choices in their U.S. Senate race. Schumer, a lifelong politician, is a liberal with a reputation for consensus building, Long is a conservative and a political outsider who talks of busting up the corrupt Washington establishment. Our Bobby Cuza takes a closer look at the candidates’ platforms.
Charles Schumer has been in the Senate for almost 18 years. Should she unseat him, Wendy Long promises she won’t stick around nearly as long.
“I’ve voluntarily said I will limit myself to no more than two terms,” Long said.
Long is campaigning on a government reform platform that would also tie Congressional salaries to the median household income — currently about $56,500— and require that members of Congress file reports detailing actions they took to benefit donors.
“The burden should be on Chuck Schumer to tell us what he’s done for all the big banks and hedge funds,” Long said.
But it’s term limits, Long says, that get the loudest applause when she speaks, an idea Donald Trump has adopted.
“A constitutional amendment to impose term limits,” Trump said at a Saturday campaign rally.
Indeed on policy, Trump and Long are virtual clones. Like him, her platform calls for slashing taxes and regulations, tearing up trade deals, repealing Obamacare, protecting gun rights and shrinking government.
“We could say ‘Alright, well let’s start by firing all the federal bureaucrats who are doing nothing but sitting at their computers watching pornography all day,'” Long said.
More specifically, she’d eliminate the federal Department of Education; elsewhere on domestic policy, she’d also kill the Common Core curriculum; use federal incentives to force colleges to lower tuition, and make English the official national language.
“When New York has a crisis, I’m there,” Schumer said.
Schumer, meanwhile, is running on his record, pointing to legislative wins for the middle-class and disaster relief.
“I’ve been able to bring $60 billion to the New York metropolitan area after Sandy hit, $20 billion after 9/11.”
On policy, like Hillary Clinton, he favors hiking the minimum wage and taxes on the wealthy. He envisions a more progressive Supreme Court, and says two top Senate priorities will be immigration reform and a massive infrastructure bill. And Schumer will have clout: he’ll be Senate Majority Leader if Democrats win control, and promises he won’t forget his constituents.
“Whatever clout I have in the Senate, I always use for New York,” Schumer said. “New York’s in my bones.”