Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday chided President Donald Trump in his remarks regarding a bipartisan temporary agreement to reopen the government, saying that Democrats remain “firmly against” a Southern U.S. border wall.
“The American people do not like it when you throw a wrench into the lives of government workers over an unrelated political dispute,” Schumer said in a Capitol Hill press conference. “Working people throughout America empathized with the federal workers and were aghast at what the president was doing to them. Hopefully, now the president has learned his lesson. Now, once the president signs the continuing resolution, we in Congress will roll up our sleeves and try to find some agreement on border security.”
“Today the president will sign the bill to reopen the government along the outlines of what we have proposed and hopefully it means a lesson learned for the White House and for many of our Republican colleagues: Shutting down the government over a policy difference is self-defeating,” the New York Democrat said, later adding that “Democrats are firmly against the wall.”
Earlier, President Trump agreed to a deal Friday to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies get back to work.
Standing alone in the Rose Garden, the president said he would sign legislation funding shuttered agencies until February 15 and try again to persuade lawmakers to finance his long-sought wall. The deal he reached with congressional leaders contains no new money for the wall. However, in his remarks, President Trump still made the case for a border wall and maintained he might again shut down the government over it.
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” he said. The president has been considering declaring a national emergency in order to fund the border wall unilaterally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.