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 SchumerEx-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis Ex-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw 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 TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants 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 ShelbyMcConnell to force vote next week on Trump border funding request McConnell to force vote next week on Trump border funding request The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? 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.