Schumer: 'Good for country' if Trump punts on border wall fight
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Monday night that government funding negotiations can continue after President Trump appeared open to delaying a fight over his proposed border wall until the fall.  

“It's good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations. Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues," Schumer said in a statement. 
 
The administration's push for border wall money had stalled negotiations over the fiscal 2017 funding bill that lawmakers have to pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. 
 
But Trump told a group of conservative journalists that he would be OK with getting funding for the wall along the Mexican border as part of the fiscal 2018 spending bill that will be passed later this year.
 
The move would punt the fight until September, ahead of another government funding deadline on Oct. 1. 
 
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Trump's demand to include the border wall funding in the current bill had created a shutdown crisis, giving lawmakers just days to come up with an agreement or pass a short-term measure.
 
Democrats have warned for weeks that they would oppose a bill if it included the wall money, which they consider a "poison pill." Trump submitted a supplemental to Congress earlier this year that requested roughly $1.5 billion for the wall.
 
Republicans will need at least eight Democratic votes in the Senate to pass funding legislation. They could also need help from Democrats in the House if conservatives refuse to support the spending legislation. 
 
Schumer accused the administration earlier on Monday of using the border fight to hold government funding "hostage," warning it was increasing the risk of a shutdown. 
 
“If the administration insists on funding for a wall in the bill, it will endanger the prospects of the bill passing and raise the prospects of a government shutdown because of a border wall we believe is a pointless waste of taxpayer money for several reasons,” he said from the Senate floor.
 
He added that Democrats would agree to debate the border wall later in the year but predicted that it wouldn't have the votes to pass. Any proposal to fund the border wall would likely need 60 votes and Democratic support to overcome a filibuster.