Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has tried his best to slow down President Donald Trump — but the New York Democrat just suffered another humiliating defeat this week.
It was reported a few days ago that Schumer and other top Democrats were trying to stage mutiny and block a spending bill over funding for Trump’s border wall.
Schumer tried to push Democrats to vote against the spending bill — which would have allowed the federal government to shut down — because he didn’t want any funding allocated to the border wall.
But Schumer’s plan failed in spectacular fashion after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved an interim spending bill Thursday, boosting hopes of avoiding a government shutdown on Sept. 30.
The bill, which funds the government at current levels through Nov. 21, was passed 301-123.
While Schumer wanted Democrats to vote against the bill, all but 3 liberal lawmakers voted to support the measure in the House.
The Senate is expected to approve the package next week, meaning fights over funding for President Trump’s border wall and possible restrictions on appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security restrictions over the treatment of migrants.
If the bill is enacted, lawmakers would have until Nov. 21 to negotiate and approve $1.4 trillion for federal agencies. Those bills would fill in the details of this summer’s budget and debt agreement between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The House-passed measure also extends some expiring federal programs and replenishes Trump’s bailout of farmers who’ve been hurt by the U.S. trade dispute with China.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved three noncontroversial measures on unanimous votes as the sniping continued in the wake of Wednesday’s Democratic filibuster of the almost $700 billion defense bill and other legislation.
Senate Democrats have accused Republicans of shortchanging health and education programs to finance the border project and would permit the president to transfer military dollars for the wall again.
Schumer was willing to let the federal government shut down at the end of the month because he wanted “leverage” over Republicans and Trump regarding the border wall.
This is certainly going to trigger a very big fight in Congress leading up to November.
House Democratic leaders have said they plan to offer zero dollars for Trump’s wall.
Republicans are proposing that $5 billion from domestic programs be spent on the wall, with plans to divert another $7 billion in military construction funds to border projects.
If the Senate approves an additional $12 billion in funding for the wall, that would likely fund the rest of the project.
The Trump administration has said that around 900 miles of the border wall will either be built or updated by the 2020.
That leaves around 1,000 miles on the border that would need a barrier of some sorts.
It could be even less given some areas are too dangerous for immigrants to cross and/or has natural barriers that prevent crossing.
The additional $12 billion would likely cover that with no problem at all.
And Schumer is going to keep trying his hardest to stop Trump from getting this done.