“This would be a very good time” for a government shutdown, President Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House on November 17, as reported by the Inquisitr. Trump threatened to shut the government down if Congress refuses to fund his border wall. While that was not the first time for Trump to threaten shutdown over Congress’ refusal to fund the expensive program, it appears to have worked.
On November 29, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer promised to fund — not a “physical wall,” he vowed — but fencing, and other border security measures, according to CNBC. Schumer agreed to put $1.6 billion of taxpayer money to what he clearly does not consider to be an actual border wall. But some find Schumer’s decision to compromise with Trump problematic. A group of border-state House Democrats is furious at Schumer for agreeing to fund Trump’s border security projects, Politico reports. Frightened and cautious, they expressed “alarm and opposition” to Schumer’s proposal, fearing that the Minority Leader will betray them on the issue, cave in, and eventually say “yes” to a full-blown border wall.
Schumer is now making phone calls, and requesting that border-state Democrats retract their statements. One of them, Texas Representative Henry Cuella, refused to do so.
“I said, ‘No, I’m not going to withdraw the letter because we don’t want you weakening House negotiations for Democrats,” he recounted for Politico. House and Senate Democrats, the publication notes, stand divided on the issue, with some urging Schumer to give up on the idea, as others continue to support the Senate minority leader.
“I’ve heard it from other members, and it’s my feeling as well, that he could agree to something that basically puts those of us in sincere opposition to that wall in a bind,” Arizona Democrat Raúl Grijalva said. “There’s already $1.5 [billion from last year]. No more.” But Chuck Schumer’s office appears adamant to compromise with President Donald Trump, and continues to downplay the complaints of party colleagues, accusing them of putting words in Schumer’s mouth.
“Schumer has been clear since the beginning that he supports funding for non-wall border security. This is much ado about nothing: we all agree and always have: no wall, no $5 billion,” the Senate minority leader’s office responded. Still, border-state Democrats, Politico notes, maintain that — although not a concrete wall — border fencing is still a wall.
House progressives have reportedly embarked on a campaign of their own, in an attempt to persuade Nancy Pelosi to seek immigration concessions from President Donald Trump in return for border wall funding. Last Thursday, dozens of advocacy group signed a joint letter — published by the American Civil Liberties Union — urging lawmakers to reject funding for Trump’s wall and other border security measures, and putting more pressure on Schumer’s Democrats.