Schumer pulls offer to help fund border wall; Trump hits back

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., led a government shutdown in order to create a deal to save immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

By Sara Shayanian – UPI

President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer are feuding again after the New York lawmaker pulled a compromise deal for the president’s long-promised border wall.

Schumer, who led a government shutdown in order to create a deal to save immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, eventually agreed to reopen the government on the condition that the chamber would vote on immigration in the coming weeks.

Lawmakers have been involved in negotiations to reach a compromise on funding the wall along the Mexico border in exchange for extended protections against deportations for immigrants covered under DACA, known as “Dreamers.” Trump said last year he would end the DACA program unless it was reformed by Congress.

Schumer told the White House Tuesday, though, that he was withdrawing a Democratic offer to support building the U.S.-Mexico border wall with $1.6 billion in construction funding.

“The thought was 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.”

Schumer first made the offer on Friday during a meeting with Trump at the White House while negotiations were occurring to avoid a government shutdown.

“It was the first thing the president and I talked about,” Schumer said.

Congress ultimately passed a short-term funding resolution.

On Tuesday night, Trump taunted Schumer for his withdrawal.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

Schumer and Trump have clashed before. In November, he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi scrapped a meeting at the White House with the president because of a tweet Trump had posted.

“Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working,” the tweet read. “Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”

Most Democrats and some Republicans oppose the border wall.

Last week, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told lawmakers, “candidates say things during the campaign that are not informed” when discussing the border wall.

In an apparent response to Kelly, Trump tweeted that the plans for the wall hadn’t changed since his 2016 presidential campaign and that Mexico would still pay for the border wall “directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement.”

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water,” Trump wrote.

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