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 SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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 CornynTrump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Paul objection snags confirmation of former McConnell staffer MORE (R-Texas) — a border-state lawmaker — and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition 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 MurrayDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare MORE (D-Wash.) said on Wednesday.