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Schumer tells Trump to 'abandon' border wall plan amid government shutdown


Dems want to use drones, other tech instead

Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) ordered President Donald Trump to "abandon the wall" Saturday, saying the president does not have the Senate votes required to fund it. His comments came hours after a partial government shutdown over a funding impasse on Trump's 2016 campaign promise to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Could it pass in the Senate?

"It will never pass the Senate, not today, not next week, not next year," Schumer said from the Senate floor. "So President Trump, if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall, plain and simple."

A partial shutdown of the government began at midnight Saturday after the House and Senate adjourned without a funding agreement. The shutdown could last a few days, both sides of the issue told Fox News. The Senate adjourned Saturday and is scheduled to meet again on Thursday.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday: "I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won't fight for the borders of our own!"

The president also wrote that the border crisis is real and will not end without a wall or "steel barrier."

Vice President Mike Pence and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney met at the Capitol on Saturday with Schumer in hopes of continuing negotiations that would end the stalemate, according to the report.

Productive discussions are ongoing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the news outlet.

"When those negotiations produce a solution that is acceptable to all parties — which means 60 votes in the Senate, a majority in the House, and a presidential signature — at that point, we will take it up here on the Senate floor," he said.

A Schumer spokesman indicated that "the vice president came in for a discussion and made an offer. Unfortunately, we're still very far apart."

The stalemate centers on was funding for Trump's signature 2016 campaign promise for a border wall to curb illegal immigration. The president wants $5.7 billion for the project. A bill that would fund it passed the House on Friday. Sixty votes are required in the Senate, which means Democratic votes are needed in addition to support from the GOP.

What else is proposed?

Schumer called Trump's plan a "bone to the hard right." Democrats are instead proposing $1.3 billion for "border security."

"I've heard the president and his allies in the media say that Democrats don't support border security," he said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Democrats have always been for smart and effective ways to secure our border. We are pushing for technology, like drones and sensors, and inspection equipment."

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