Schumer to call for Trump to fight gun violence, white supremacy with border wall funds

Schumer to call for Trump to fight gun violence, white supremacy with border wall funds
© Aaron Schwartz

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is going to ask the Trump administration to formally remove a request for $5 billion for a border wall and use those funds for initiatives to fight gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism, a source confirmed to The Hill.

The funds would be used cover Department of Homeland Security programs to counter violent extremism, FBI domestic terrorism investigations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gun violence research and other programs, the source added.

The proposal was first reported Tuesday morning in Politico’s Playbook.

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"The dual scourges of gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism in this country are a national security threat plain and simple, and it's time the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress start treating them as such,” Schumer said in a statement to The Hill.

“Now Republicans and this administration need to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to addressing gun violence and stopping the rise of domestic terrorism, especially stemming from white supremacy,” he added.

Schumer also said that Democrats are prepared to work with Republicans to respond to the FBI’s call for additional resources to address domestic terrorism.

The plan follows two mass shootings earlier this month that killed more than 30 people. A shooting in El Paso, Texas, is being treated as a case of domestic terrorism.

The suspected shooter allegedly wrote a manifesto ahead of the attack warning of a “Hispanic invasion.”

FBI and Homeland Security officials have warned that domestic terrorism is a rising threat in the U.S., but officials have said their departments lack the resources to address it.

Schumer's proposal is not a substitute for the House-passed universal background checks bill that Democrats have been pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.) to bring to the floor for a vote, the source noted.

Updated at 8:21 a.m.