Michael Bloomberg pledges $80 million to put Democrats back in power
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Michael Bloomberg pledges $80 million to put Democrats back in power

Former New York mayor says Republicans in control of Congress are failing to act as a check on Trump

Michael Bloomberg arrives for the annual US Conference of Mayors meeting, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Michael Bloomberg arrives for the annual US Conference of Mayors meeting, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

NEW YORK — Disappointed with US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday he will donate $80 million to Democrats in hopes they win back control of the US House of Representatives.

“Republicans in Congress have had almost two years to prove they could govern responsibly. They failed,” Bloomberg, a Jewish media mogul and former New York City mayor, said on the website of his Bloomberg news service.

“Congress has essentially stopped acting as a co-equal branch of government, by failing to engage in the kind of oversight of the law that the Constitution requires and the public expects,” he charged, adding “too many have been absolutely feckless.”

Bloomberg, 76, is a political independent but endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections, calling Donald Trump a “risky, reckless and radical choice.” He considered the possibility of running as a candidate in that election but decided against it.

He has lately edged into the center-left realm of US politics, calling for environmental protection and gun control.

“I’ve never thought that the public is well-served when one party is entirely out of power, and I think the past year and half has been evidence of that,” Bloomberg told The New York Times.

Republicans “have done little to reach across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions — not only on guns and climate change, but also on jobs, immigration, health care, and infrastructure,” he added.

Analysts predict Democrats have a strong shot at regaining control of the US House in November’s mid-term elections, although the Cook Political Report says Republicans have seen a recent uptick in their overall chances of maintaining their majority.

Democrats would need to flip 24 seats to seize the chamber.

As such, the historically bipartisan and independent operator said he would support Democrats’ efforts to win control of the US House.

Bloomberg said he had differences with opposition Democrats “especially those who seek to make this election about impeachment. Nothing could be more irresponsible.”

Still, Bloomberg faulted Republican lawmakers for not upholding checks and balances that exist “to safeguard ethics, prevent the abuse of power and preserve the rule of law.”

JTA contributed to this report.

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