Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) answers reporters’ questions on Capitol Hill on Jan. 23, 2018. (Rex Features via AP Images)
By Bridget Johnson
WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said his offer to fund the border wall in White House talks with President Trump last Friday is now off the table “because that was part of a package” to avert a shutdown that is no longer in play.
“It was the first thing the president and I talked about, was finishing it by, as he said, Tuesday night. Three days. And the thought was that we could come to an agreement that afternoon, the president would announce his support, and then the Senate and House would get it done and it would be on the president’s desk,” Schumer told reporters today on Capitol Hill. “He didn’t do that. So we’re going to have to start on a new basis, and the wall offer is off the table.”
On Monday, Trump tweeted after the Senate voted to end the shutdown, “Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!”
Schumer said Dems “advanced the ball for the DREAMers; we’re proud of the role we played.”
“If they’re proud of the role of thwarting DREAMers, most Americans would disagree with that,” he added.
At Senate Republicans’ media availability, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of his promise to let a DACA fix come to the floor that there will be “a fair and open process that will give a variety of different points of view an opportunity to express themselves.”
“And I think as all of you know who cover the Senate, whoever gets 60 votes wins. That’s the way you have an open process in the Senate. That’s the way we will deal with that issue, provided that the government is still open. And that’s the understanding I had with my moderates,” McConnell said.
Asked one reporter: “What do you say to those DREAMers who are worried that you won’t keep your word and bring a bill to the floor? A lot could go wrong between now and then.”
“I intend to keep my word,” McConnell replied.
At the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if the administration intended on deporting DREAMers starting March 5, the deadline for a congressional deal to save the program.
“That’s what we’re working on doing with the House and the Senate. And we’re going to come up with something that gets us to a place where we end chain migration,” Sanders replied. “That is one of the priorities that we have laid out from the administration.”