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Schumer Says Democrats Not Just Focused On Russia

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Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says the Democrats have two main priorities, neither of which are the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, told CNN July 24 that Democrats were concentrating on health care and "the economic well-being of the working family."

Schumer's interview came after his Party's launch of a new economic agenda called "A Better Deal."

"Those are our two big focuses," Schumer added to CNN. "Obviously Russia is in the news. Obviously we want Bob Mueller to be able to pursue and our committees to be able to pursue their investigations unimpeded."

Schumer was joined at the launch of the party's new platform by the House Minority Leader, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California. It included commitments to create better-paying jobs, reduce health care costs, and clamp down on unfair business practices. Among the proposals to achieve these goals were a doubling of federal funding for apprenticeship programs and tax incentives for companies to retrain workers.

"We will aggressively crack down on unfair foreign trade and fight back against corporations that outsource American jobs," a statement from the Democrats read, according to NPR. "We will fight to ensure a living wage for all Americans and keep our promise to millions of workers who earned a pension, Social Security and Medicare, so seniors can retire with dignity."

Schumer acknowledged that Democrats had failed to connect with voters over an extended period.

"It's not just 2016. It's 2014 as well," Schumer told CNN. "The blame goes all around, and the bottom line is people didn't know what we stood for."

Schumer's interviewer pointed to a Washington Post poll that revealed a majority of Americans did not know what the Democrats stood for.

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"I'm not going to point any specific fingers," added Schumer. "We're all to blame, but what you said, that 52 percent of Americans don't know what we stand for, that changes today."

Schumer and Pelosi hope the new plan will assist Democrats in regaining control of the House in the 2018 mid-term elections. They must win 24 seats from Republicans to do so. In the Senate, they face a more difficult challenge, as several Democrats are up for re-election in states that backed President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Trump responded to the Democrats' announcement by tweeting that they were finally accepting responsibility for their election defeat.

"After one year of investigation with zero evidence being found, Chuck Schumer just stated that Democrats should blame ourselves, not Russia," Trump tweeted, according to NPR.

Sources: CNN, NPR / Photo credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr, Lorie Shaull/Flickr, John J. Meola/Wikimedia Commons

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