Chuck Schumer, senior US senator from New York and Senate minority leader, is withdrawing his offer for funding Trump’s wall on the southern border. A senior aide working for the senator revealed that the offer that was slightly above the $1.6 billion in funding that Trump was looking for will be retracted.
According to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Trump will not get any other better offer than this. Senator Durbin also noted that the Democrats had called the White House and informed the president of their decision. Chuck Schumer told reporters that the offer on the wall was supposed to be part of an extensive deal to prevent a government shutdown. The New York senator said that he was confident at the time that the Democrats and the Republicans could come to an agreement on certain issues that would have facilitated the wall funding deal but that did not happen.
In light of this, Schumer said that new negotiations on funding for the wall will start all over again. According to insiders who were part of the backdoor negotiations that were going on last week, Schumer had offered increased funding for the border wall in exchange of president’s support on a key immigration legislation for Dreamers. However, Democrats said that the president didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. A Democratic senator told reporters that Trump had missed a very good opportunity to get funding for his wall, one of the most controversial yet key campaign promises that he made to his supporters.
However, the White House has denied that the offer even existed in the first place. A White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said on Tuesday that he was not aware of any offer that was on the table between the president and the Senate minority leader. He told FOX News that no funding was offered by the Democrats adding that it was impossible to rescind an offer that was never on the table in the first place. The White House statement was, however, contradicted by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) who said that Schumer had actually offered $25 billion for the border wall.
Nonetheless, it’s very unlikely that GOP members who are aligned to Trump will support any bill on immigration that does not provide significant funding for the border wall. In addition to this, there are liberal Democrats who would prefer DACA negotiations to begin fresh without any caveats. Arriving at any bipartisan solution will take time, especially now that neither side is willing to blink.
Trump has spoken passionately about the border wall for the few months that he has been in the Oval Office. The president sees the wall as an important part of his immigration policy. However, building the structure will require immense funding and without the support of Democrats in the Senate that funding will not be available. It’s going to be a negotiation process no doubt but with the levels of trust between the two sides still low, nobody knows when a substantive compromise will be made.