Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer shut down an offer to fund the president’s border wall, just days after putting it on the table.
According to Politico.com, the senator told Trump through an aide that the deal was no longer up for grabs. Schumer purportedly promised over $1.6 billion in funding for a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. The much-criticized offer would have boosted border security in exchange for protecting hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, many of whom could be deported in the coming years.
And now, says Schumer, Trump is going to have to negotiate without grabbing for a wall – he “took it off” as an option, said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat.
“He called the White House yesterday and said it’s over.”
Schumer, writes Politico.com, withdrew his offer of border funding on Sunday, though he’d made the suggestion just three days before. The financial boost for the president’s pet project was supposed to be part of a “broader package,” intended to stop a shutdown of the federal government.
Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2018
“The thought that we could come to an agreement that afternoon, the president would announce his support, and the Senate and the House would get it done and it would be on the president’s desk,” Schumer said Tuesday. “He didn’t do that. So we’re going to have to start on a new basis and so the wall offer is off the table.”
In their meeting Friday, Schumer laid out a deal that should have had the president drooling.
Since formally rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in September, the president has promised to take action to protect its former beneficiaries. A month later, the commander-in-chief’s stance toughened – sanctuary for Dreamers, he said, would come only in exchange for a big boost in border security. Among Trump’s most consistent conditions has been billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democrats have so far resisted the president’s demands for a border wall – Schumer came under heavy fire on Friday for appearing to accede.
Despite the Senate Minority Leader’s offer – which would have given Trump more money for a wall than he’d initially asked – the president still said “no.”
The president, said one aide, has “missed an opportunity to get the wall.”
However, some Republicans have claimed Schumer never negotiated with the president.
“You can’t rescind money you never really offered in the first place,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, speaking on Fox News.
And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was skeptical if Schumer managed to recollect the meeting in its entirety.
“They claim that some crazy deal was made,” said Cotton. “And then when we say no deal was made, they accuse Republicans and the president of reneging.”