The Democrats’ Senate leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, is backing away from his suggestion that he could endorse spending more than $1.6 billion in 2019 for President Donald Trump’s border wall.
“We are for strong border security,” Schumer said on November 27 when reporters asked him about President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion in wall funding. “The $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by Democrats and Republicans [in the Senate] is our position. … We believe that is the right way to go. … We’re not negotiating in the press.”
Progressives complained, prompting Schumer to post a tweet saying he will reject Trump’s demand for extra money to build a concrete wall:
Our position has been clear from the beginning: Ds & Rs have a months-old agreement in the Senate. $1.6B for border security, NOT a concrete wall or increases in detention beds or ICE agents. We should stick to this agreement. If POTUS interferes, he is responsible for a shutdown
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 28, 2018
Schumer also said the $1.6 billion is for “border security,” not necessarily for construction of a border fence. So most of the $1.6 billion that the Democrats accept might be directed towards routine operations, not fence-building.
New York magazine said:
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the Democratic Party would support no more than $1.6 billion in new border-security funding — but also, that he was willing to negotiate on that.
This displeased many progressives, who contend that the proper amount of new border-security funding (to provide to an administration that considers kidnapping and psychologically torturing migrant children a legitimate form of border security) to be approximately $0.
Schumer defended himself from this backlash by insisting that none of the new funds would go toward Trump’s border wall. This did address the Democratic base’s most widespread complaint (liberals do not want their party playing any part in the construction of Trump’s monument to American xenophobia). But it was also a rather odd line to draw.
Progressives used Twitter to display their opposition to a compromise:
I’d like to suggest $0 for a wall and $1.6 billion going to education and healthcare. Heck, if we can go Republican levels of spending and make it that $5 billion figure. At that point we could throw in infrastructure too. Still $0 for the wall tho.
— 💙Lizardbeth💙 (@LizardbethArt) November 28, 2018
Tell @SenSchumer that not one penny for the wall, much less $1.5 BILLION. We are in desperate financial straights and we need all our money for healing our people, neighbors, country and planet. Time is running short! #Resist
— Sheri Hanson (@PemaYongchen) November 28, 2018
Why in the fuck is Schumer offering 1.5 billion for the wall? That’s BS. Trump gets NOTHING. Nothing for the wall. Nothing.
— Rob Lowy (@rob_lowy912) November 28, 2018
Chuck Schumer should not continue as the Democratic leader in the Senate. Democrats do not support this wall. Not for $5 billion or $1.6 billion. We shouldn’t settle for compromise on something meant to divide us. It is time for new Democratic leadership in the Senate. #NoWall
— Ryan Yeager (@RyanYeagerPA) November 28, 2018
For the record, Democrats already agreed to $23.1 billion dollars in 2019 on “border security”, which is up $5.7 billion dollars from 2016 – so this actually Chuck Schumer agreeing to a total of $7.3 billion dollars in “border funding” aka the wall.
Thanks, Chuck. https://t.co/IhxKM4f9ni
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) November 27, 2018
Schumer: FINE 1.6 billion for the wall
Schumer: maybe 5 billion idk
— Trent Turk (@Omgitstrent) November 28, 2018
Man I am so excited to vote Chuck Schumer out of office. How can you see the photos of our government using tear gas and think “hm 5 bill is a lot of a wall, but maybe 1.6 billion” Get the eff outta here with yr stupid wall. https://t.co/HmxVFVz1kF
— Ty (@sp_aceoddity) November 27, 2018
@SenSchumer if you agree to $1.5 billion for trump’s ridiculous wall, we will make sure every dem that agrees will be voted OUT! Not 1 penny! Not 1. NO COMPROMISES.
— just grace (@graceNC4) November 27, 2018