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 SchumerAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down Trump ahead of New Hampshire speech: Lewandowski would be 'fantastic' senator 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 watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? 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 ShelbyIn-space refueling vs heavy lift? NASA and SpaceX choose both Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects 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.