Schumer: Trump’s border wall can’t pass Senate

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) signaled Monday that Democrats won’t support money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall during a fall funding showdown. 

“I don’t think it can pass. … There’s a lot of negativity on the wall on both the Democratic and Republican sides,” Schumer told reporters when asked if his side would take the same strategy on the fiscal 2018 bill. 

The Trump administration pushed to include money for the border wall in the fiscal 2017 spending bill, which lawmakers are expected to pass by Friday, with budget chief Mick Mulvaney calling the provision a key priority for the White House. 

{mosads}But congressional lawmakers left out that money and instead included extra funds for border security, after Democratic lawmakers warned for weeks that including wall funding would prompt a government shutdown. 

But the White House has signaled it will make another push on the border wall later this year. 

Trump told a group of conservative journalists last week that the administration would request wall funding in the fight over the fiscal 2018 bill, which lawmakers have until Oct. 1 to pass. 

While Schumer said Democrats would be “happy” to debate the border wall, he predicted it couldn’t get the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate. 

“I think if they brought it up in regular order it would not pass, it wouldn’t come close to passing,” he added. 

Republicans could clear legislation funding the wall through the House without Democratic help, but they would need the support of at least eight Democrats in the Senate to overcome a likely filibuster. 

In addition to Democratic opposition, Republicans in states along the border have also voiced skepticism about funding Trump’s costly campaign promise.

The Department of Homeland Security estimated that a border wall would cost roughly $21.6 billion to complete, but Democrats have warned that costs could balloon. 

A report from Democratic staff on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released earlier this year found that the wall could cost nearly $70 billion to build and $150 million a year in maintenance.  

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