Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized President Trump Thursday while “under the shadow of a government shutdown.”
While making remarks on the opening day of the 116th Congress, Schumer argued President Trump was “hounded by the far-right, particularly the radio and TV commentators” into not keeping the government open and “threw a temper tantrum at the eleventh hour and demanded more than five billion dollars for an ineffective border wall.”
“We obviously disagree about the best way to secure the border. We believe the wall is wrong on many counts. The wall is ineffective, most experts agree with that. The wall is expensive,” Schumer stated. “He says it’s a campaign pledge he must keep. That was not his campaign pledge. His campaign pledge was to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, not American taxpayers. So it’s not a campaign pledge.”
He added, “The Trump administration has not even spent the border security funding allocated by Congress last year.”
Schumer then stated he had much rather have the Statue of Liberty represent America than a border wall.
“To so many Americans, we do not want the wall to be a symbol of America. Much preferring the Statue of Liberty be that symbol. The symbolism is bad for the country, for our economy, for our security, for our ability to get along in the world.”
“Democrats certainly support strong, effective border security,” Schumer argued. “Fencing, drones, technology, roads. What the experts say actually works.”
Schumer then said he asked the president on “multiple occasions” during their meeting why “large portions of the government” should be shut down while having a separate debate about the border.
Schumer claims Trump “couldn’t name one.”
“President Trump is holding the government hostage over his wall, using the well-being of millions of Americans in a futile attempt to get what he wants. A concrete border wall,” Schumer claimed.
In concluding his speech, Schumer said, “We have given our Republican colleagues a way out of the shutdown based on Republican approved proposals. All leader McConnell needs to do to reopen the government is to bring to the floor the legislation that he, and nearly every other Republican senator, already supports.”