- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used a speech on the Senate floor on Friday to lambaste President Donald Trump over his demand that a spending bill to fund the government include $US5 billion to fund a wall on the southern border.
- “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You’re not getting the wall today, next week, or on January 3 when Democrats take control of the House,” Schumer said.
- If Congress does not pass and Trump does not sign a spending measure by midnight Friday, parts of the federal government will shut down.
As a government shutdown looms closer by the minute, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used a speech on the Senate floor on Friday to lambaste President Donald Trump over his demand that a spending bill to fund the government include $US5 billion to fund a wall on the southern border.
“President Trump has thrown a temper tantrum and now has us careening towards a Trump shutdown over Christmas,” Schumer said. “In a short time, the Senate will take part in a pointless exercise to demonstrate to our House colleagues and the president what everyone here already knows: There are not the votes in the Senate for an expensive, taxpayer-funded border wall.
“So, President Trump, you will not get your wall,” Schumer added. “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You’re not getting the wall today, next week, or on January 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”
After the Senate on Wednesday passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through February 8 with the existing budget appropriations, the House, which is still controlled by Republicans, passed a new spending bill with funding for the border wall on Thursday, sending that bill to the Senate.
The Senate requires a 60-vote majority to pass appropriations legislation. Since Republicans control the body with only 51 seats, at least nine Democrats would have to vote for that spending package to pass the bill and keep the government open.
If Trump does not sign spending legislation by midnight Friday, parts of the federal government will shut down.
Congress has been mired in chaos this week, as Trump initially signalled he would be willing to sign the Senate’s continuing resolution but then made a last-ditch demand for wall funding while Republicans still control both chambers of Congress.
“Every Republican has already unanimously supported a clean extension of government funding,” Schumer said. “Democrats supported the measure because we do not want to see the government shut down.”
He added that lawmakers “had every indication the president would sign the legislation,” but that Trump, “hounded by the radical voices of the hard right, threw another temper tantrum.”
Schumer also blasted Trump for attempting to place the blame for a shutdown on Democrats in a tweet on Friday morning after saying last week in a televised meeting with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he would be “proud” to shut down the government over the wall.
“President Trump called for a shutdown no less than 25 times,” Schumer said, adding that “no Democrat has called for shutting down the government.”
“President Trump, you cannot erase months of video of you saying that you wanted a shutdown and that you wanted the responsibility and blame for a shutdown. President Trump, you own the shutdown,” Schumer said.
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