During a speech on the Senate floor Friday, minority leader Chuck Schumer said unequivocally that Senate Democrats would not support a spending bill that includes the $5 billion Trump has demanded for the construction of a border wall.
After initially signaling his support for a two week stopgap spending bill that provided just $1.6 billion in wall funding, Trump reversed himself Wednesday amid pushback from his restrictionist base and resumed his threat to shutdown the government unless his funding demands are met.
In response to Trump’s reversal, the House on Thursday added more than $5 billion in border wall funding to a seven-week stopgap spending bill and returned it to the Senate, where Schumer vowed it will not pass due to unanimous opposition from his caucus.
“In a short time, the Senate will take part in a pointless exercise to demonstrate to our House colleagues and the president what everyone here already knows. There are not the votes for an expensive, taxpayer funded border wall. So, President Trump, you will not get your wall,” Schumer said. “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You’re not getting your wall today, next week, or on January 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”
Schumer went on to blame Trump for the impending shutdown, citing Trump’s previous admission that he would “be proud” to shut down the government in an effort to make good on his border wall campaign promise.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell came to the podium after Schumer to make the case for increased border security. Citing a recent surge in drug and human trafficking, McConnell called the situation at the southern border a “crisis” and rhetorically asked if any of his Democratic colleagues went to sleep at night with their front doors wide open.