Senate Dems: Border wall is a budget 'poison pill'

Senate Dems: Border wall is a budget 'poison pill'
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A group of Democratic senators said Wednesday that President Trump's proposed border wall could derail budget negotiations, risking a government shutdown.

"Our caucus came out unified against them putting the wall and jamming it down our throats in this budget. If anything, our position has strengthened since we've done that," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters.

Under Trump's budget proposal, the Department of Homeland Security would get an additional $2.8 billion for border security, largely for construction of the wall. The White House is also expected to make a supplemental request of $1.5 billion to begin construction of the wall.


"If we really want good government and governing, we're going to be focused on passing a budget without any poison pills attached to it, and that's clearly what this is: it's a poison pill trying to, again, play with people's lives, and it needs to stop," said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

Schumer said Democrats oppose the wall for a variety of reasons, stressing that it would be "impractical."

He added that Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall — a demand that Mexican authorities have repeatedly panned.

"Why don't you work on that?" asked Schumer.

Schumer also said that Republicans have expressed doubts about the wall, pointing to Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCuban says he'd spank daughter if she was partying during coronavirus pandemic Twitter comes under fire over Chinese disinformation on coronavirus NBA owner Mark Cuban to Senate: 'Do your f---ing job' MORE (R-Texas) — a border-state lawmaker — and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCampaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus Schumer: Senate should 'explore' remote voting if coronavirus sparks lengthy break MORE (R-S.C.).

Cornyn on Tuesday shot down the idea that a fight over wall funding could result in a government shutdown, Politico reported.

“There’s not going to be a shutdown,” he told the news outlet.

But Democrats are adamant they will oppose any attempt to fund the wall through the federal budget.

"Our caucus has made it very clear to the Republicans that we will not include funding for the border wall in the appropriations bill that needs to be approved by April 28," Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate coronavirus stimulus talks spill into Saturday Senate Democrats propose canceling student loan payments during coronavirus Stimulus plan hinges on McConnell, Schumer repairing toxic relationship MORE (D-Wash.) said on Wednesday.