Chuck Schumer Retreats from Border Wall Deal amid Progressive Backlash

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at right, pauses as they speak to reporters about the political battle for confirmation of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, following a closed-door Democratic policy meeting, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (AP …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Democrats’ Senate leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, is backing away from his suggestion that he could endorse spending more than $1.6 billion in 2019 for President Donald Trump’s border wall.

“We are for strong border security,” Schumer said on November 27 when reporters asked him about President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion in wall funding. “The $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by Democrats and Republicans [in the Senate] is our position. … We believe that is the right way to go. … We’re not negotiating in the press.”

Progressives complained, prompting Schumer to post a tweet saying he will reject Trump’s demand for extra money to build a concrete wall:

Schumer also said the $1.6 billion is for “border security,” not necessarily for construction of a border fence. So most of the $1.6 billion that the Democrats accept might be directed towards routine operations, not fence-building.

New York magazine said:

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the Democratic Party would support no more than $1.6 billion in new border-security funding — but also, that he was willing to negotiate on that.

This displeased many progressives, who contend that the proper amount of new border-security funding (to provide to an administration that considers kidnapping and psychologically torturing migrant children a legitimate form of border security) to be approximately $0.

Schumer defended himself from this backlash by insisting that none of the new funds would go toward Trump’s border wall. This did address the Democratic base’s most widespread complaint (liberals do not want their party playing any part in the construction of Trump’s monument to American xenophobia). But it was also a rather odd line to draw.

Progressives used Twitter to display their opposition to a compromise:

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