Chuck Schumer is taking his toys and going to play somewhere else.
The Senate minority leader, to cowardly to say it to Trump’s face himself, send a message through an aide to the White House that he was retracting the offer he made last week to give Trump well north of the $1.6 billion in wall funding Trump had asked for this year, according to two Democrats, Politico reports.
And now they say Trump will simply not get a better deal than that on his signature campaign promise.
Schumer “took it off,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “He called the White House yesterday and said it’s over.”
In the now-infamous cheeseburger summit last Friday with Trump, Schumer offered a large increase in border wall spending as a condition for a broader deal to help Dreamers. But after that offer was rebuffed — prompting the three-day government shutdown — the president has now “missed an opportunity to get the wall,” one Democratic aide said.
Some key Republicans — including Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a key GOP immigration capitulator — had already considered using the promise of border wall funding totaling more than $1.6 billion in order to lure more conservative votes. A Dreamer plan written by a leftist group of six senators, including Flake, had included Trump’s $1.6 billion request as part of a broader, $2.7 billion border security package.
“Sen. Schumer’s already indicated that he would go for more. Republicans will go for more,” Flake said. “It’s just how much more we can get from the Democrats.”
Republicans aligned with Trump are unlikely to go for any bill that does not offer a major boost in border wall funding given the president’s strong feelings about the issue. Moreover, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said he was skeptical of Schumer’s recollection of the meeting and the border wall offer anyway.
“They claim that some crazy deal was made,” Cotton said of Democrats. “And then when we say no deal was made, they accuse Republicans and the president of reneging.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 23rd, 2018