Schumer: Dems oppose spending more than $1.6B on border security

Schumer: Dems oppose spending more than $1.6B on border security
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHouse Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans Rep. Massie threatens to block next relief bill, calls for remote voting Democratic senators call for funding for local media in coronavirus stimulus MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said Democrats don’t want to include more than $1.6 billion on border security in a year-end spending deal, putting them at odds with Republicans who are floating a plan to spend $5 billion to fund President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE's border wall over two years.

Schumer told reporters at the Capitol that the Trump administration has yet to spend “a penny” of the $1.3 billion Congress appropriated for border security for fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30.

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He said Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress could reach a deal on government funding if they're allowed to negotiate the must-pass spending package without interference from Trump. Congress is facing a Dec. 7 deadline to pass legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown.

Asked if Democrats could support spending more than $1.6 billion on border security as part of a deal with Trump, Schumer said he did not want to negotiate through the press.

The Senate passed $1.6 billion in wall funding in its Homeland Security appropriations bill, in line with the White House’s original request. But Trump has since upped the ante to $5 billion, an amount the House included in its version of the spending bill.

The president has threatened to veto any funding package that does not fund the wall at an amount to his liking.

Before Thanksgiving, Trump said that $5 billion is his preferred amount, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyDemocratic senators call for funding for local media in coronavirus stimulus Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill Five things being discussed for a new coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Ala.).

"He said he would veto at $1.6 [billion], so I take him at his word,” Shelby said Tuesday, adding that Congress would not override a presidential veto.