Chuck Schumer is looking ready to meet Donald Trump partway in his bid to build a wall at the Mexican border, and Democrats appear ready to oust their Senate Minority Leader.
On Tuesday, the Democratic Senator from New York told reporters that he was willing to offer a portion of the $5 billion Trump had been seeking to build the wall. As Manu Raj of CNN reported, Schumer said that he would not negotiate in public, but his statement showed a willingness to help Trump complete the controversial wall that he had originally said he would make Mexico fund.
The reaction to Schumer was swift and harsh from the left, with many attacking Schumer for seemingly cracking on a major demand from Donald Trump without any indication of what Democrats might get in return. The left-leaning Think Progress slammed the Senate Minority Leader in a story titled “WTF is Schumer doing?” The report noted that Schumer seems to lack any fighting spirit when it comes to opposing Trump, calling on Democrats to show more “civility” in politics while allowing Republicans to strip major financial regulations put in place under Obama.
“The New York Democrat, who has made a series of pointless deals allowing confirmations of dozens of Trump judicial nominees, said on Tuesday that he’s willing to offer Trump $1.6 billion for border security,” the report said, noting that Schumer later clarified that the money was for border security funding.
Others called for Schumer to be run out of his leadership position. Ashley Feinberg of the Huffington Post imagined incoming House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez running against Schumer in a Senate primary.
just sitting here daydreaming about AOC primarying the hell out of Schumer https://t.co/Xrq41693DL— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) November 27, 2018
Many others slammed Chuck Schumer’s poor negotiating skills for offering Donald Trump help to build the border wall — and a much-needed political victory — without seeming to get anything in return.
Chuck Schumer is so great at negotiating he pays pawn shop employees to take his stuff off his hands https://t.co/y5esXZBKSu— jordan (@JordanUhl) November 27, 2018
But others defended Schumer, saying that his small offer would not be enough for Trump to fund the border wall and that it positioned Democrats to avoid blame if Trump should choose to shut down the government over the insistence that the wall be funded.
Schumer’s staff has also pushed back against reports that it would strictly fund a wall, saying it was for other security measures including fencing.
UPDATE: Schumer’s staff says the $1.6 billion offer is for “fencing, not a concrete wall.” https://t.co/a4lU1ZXIwI— Frank Dale (@fwdale) November 28, 2018
Chuck Schumer has often found common ground with Donald Trump, saying he agrees more with Trump’s position on trade with China than he did with Obama. Schumer also praised Trump for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.