Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that Democrats don’t want to include more than $1.6 billion on border security in a year-end spending deal.
Republicans are currently floating a plan to spend $5 billion to fund President Trump’s border wall over two years.
Schumer told the press at Capitol Hill that the Trump administration has yet to spend “a penny” of the $1.3 billion Congress appropriated for border security for fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30.
Schumer said Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress could be able to reach a deal on government funding if the are allowed to negotiate the must-pass spending package without interference from Trump. Congress is facing a Dec. 7 deadline to pass legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown.
When asked if Dems could support spending more than the $1.6 billion on border security as part of a deal with president Trump, Chuck Schumer said he didn’t want to negotiate through the media.
In line with the White House’s original request, the Senate passed $1.6 billion in wall funding in its Homeland Security appropriations bill. However, Trump has since upped the ante to $5 billion, an amount the House included in its version of the spending bill.
President Trump has said he will veto any funding package that does not fund the wall at an amount to his liking.
Before Thanksgiving, President Trump said the $5 billion is his preferred amount, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
“He said he would veto at $1.6 [billion], so I take him at his word,” Shelby said Tuesday, adding that Congress would not override a presidential veto.
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