Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) says a House-passed spending bill providing $5.7 billion for a border wall and border security is dead on arrival in the Senate, signaling raising odds of a partial government shutdown.
“The bill that’s on the floor of the House, everyone knows, will not pass the Senate,” Schumer said moments before the House voted in support on the measure.
He accused Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of cynically putting the bill on the House floor “knowing it can’t pass the Senate.”
“Everyone knows it can’t pass the Senate. It’s a cynical attempt to just hurt innocent people and do just what President Trump wants even though they probably know it’s bad for the country,” Schumer said.
The Senate is scheduled to convene at noon Friday to consider the House legislation.
He said that once the Senate defeats the House-passed measure on Friday, House Republican leaders should immediately schedule a vote on a clean temporary funding measure, without border wall funding, that passed the upper chamber without opposition on Friday.
“Leader Pelosi and I and probably Sen. McConnell would hope that the House would then consider passing the bipartisan, unanimously passed bill [sent down by the] Senate,” Schumer said, referring to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“Whether they’ll do that or not, your guess is as good as mine,” he added.
Asked about the prospect of Congress overturning a Trump veto of a clean short-term funding measure with money for the border wall, Schumer said that question should be directed to Republican leaders.
Schumer and Pelosi have also offered two alternatives they say can pass both chambers and avoid a partial shutdown: a yearlong stopgap spending measure funding the Department of Homeland Security or a yearlong stopgap that would fund departments and agencies covered by the seven unfinished appropriations bills.
Both proposals would keep funding for border fencing at the same level as Congress appropriated for 2018: $1.3 billion.
“It is a shame that this president, who is plunging the nation into chaos, is throwing another temper tantrum and is going to hurt lots of innocent people,” Schumer said, insisting that Democrats will not budge on border wall funding.
Schumer slammed Trump for flip-flopping on his intention to sign a clean stopgap measure, without border wall funding, that would keep government agencies funded into the new year.