While Republicans, conservatives, and other patriots come together and mourn the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, who died at the age of 94 this weekend, we’re approaching another episode of Shutdown Theater on the Hill. President Trump wants $5 billion for his border wall, which is something he is willing to shut down the government over. The deadline is December 7, but Trump now says he’s willing to accept a short-term extension. We’ll see how this plays out, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is not making his House colleagues happy by signaling he may be open to partially funding it. In the House, after retaking the lower chamber, Democrats want to take their newfound power for a spin: not one cent for the wall (via Politico):
Not 30 minutes after a group of border-state House Democrats accused Chuck Schumer of betraying them on President Donald Trump’s wall, the Senate minority leader picked up the phone to protest.
Retract your statement, Schumer urged Rep. Henry Cuellar last Thursday.
Schumer argued that he was firmly opposed to Trump’s wall with Mexico and would never give in so easily. But Cuellar refused the request.
“I said, ‘No, I’m not going to withdraw the letter because we don’t want you weakening House negotiations for Democrats,” Cuellar recounted of his conversation with Schumer.
The president wants a $5 billion down payment for the wall and has threatened a partial government shutdown if he doesn’t get his way. Congress has until Friday to pass a funding bill, though Trump said late Saturday night that he is open to a short-term extension.
But while some Senate Democrats are open to funding at least part of Trump's request, newly emboldened House Democrats want to hold the line and refuse to provide even a penny.
Indeed, House Democrats and outside liberal groups fret that Schumer — and the broader Senate Democratic conference — are going to sell them out on the wall. Progressives have already begun lashing out at Schumer for offering up $1.6 billion as the starting point for negotiations surrounding the southern structure.
House Democrats argue they never agreed to that amount. And they say it’s up to Schumer to be the last line of defense against Trump’s hard-line immigration policies until they take power in January.
It’s a bit entertaining. Even the most hard-core liberals in the Senate—Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI)—are standing behind Schumer and his proposed $1.6 billion, which the latter says will be for border security, according to the publication. The more left wing and feisty Democrats are soon going to find out that perhaps Trump isn’t the only obstacle to getting their trash ideas out onto the floor. For now, get some popcorn ready because Democratic blood sports could erupt over this.