Chuck Schumer and Donald Trump are gearing up for a showdown that could define the next two years of Trump’s Presidency.
A defeat could force Schumer and the Democrats spiraling into chaos.
But Schumer could not believe this is the biggest threat he faces.
Donald Trump stated he would shut down the government in December if Democrats do not agree to support $5 billion in funding for a border wall.
The original deadline was December 7th, but Trump and Congressional leaders appear ready to pass a one or two week funding extension because they do not want a shutdown fight taking place while Washington is observing a week of remembrance following the death of former President George H.W. Bush.
Schumer made Democrats nervous when, during a press conference, he did not slam the door on compromising with Trump and allowing enough Democrats to support border wall funding to break the expected filibuster.
Those behind the scenes rumblings erupted into open warfare when Texas Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar released a letter blasting Schumer for appearing to bend to Trump’s request.
His letter read:
As a lifelong border resident, I understand firsthand the implications that a border wall would have on our communities. That is why I oppose all allocation of funds towards a border wall, which is a 14th-century solution to a 21st-century problem. Instead of enacting a concrete wall, we should allocate funding towards technology, equipment, border personnel, and economic development in Central America. I strongly encourage Leader Schumer to reconsider and clarify that Democrats should accept no funding for a wall. I thank my fellow colleagues for joining me in spearheading this important issue, making it clear that we will not negotiate when it comes to a border wall.
Schumer lost his mind.
Cuellar told Politico that Schumer called him ranting that he must retract his letter.
“I said, ‘No, I’m not going to withdraw the letter because we don’t want you weakening House negotiations for Democrats,” Cuellar told Politico.
Schumer’s spokesman fired back with a statement claiming Schumer’s position is clear – Democrats will only support the previously agreed upon $1.6 billion for border security.
“Schumer has been clear since the beginning that he supports funding for non-wall border security — the same border security funding Rep. Cuellar voted for last year,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said, adding, “This is much ado about nothing: we all agree and always have: no wall, no $5 billion. There is no dispute amongst us on this.”
Part of the deal stipulated that the money could not be used for a border wall.
It can only be used for repair of existing fences.
Trump knows with the Democrats set to take over the House in January, this is his last chance for the next two years to win wall funding.
Building a border wall was Trump’s signature campaign promise.
Republicans are united behind Trump’s five billion dollar request.
But Democrats are showing cracks in their ranks.
Previous shutdown fights have demonstrated that the side that remains unified around their message wins out over the party that experiences dissention in their ranks.
Democrats faced this problem earlier this year when Schumer engineered a pathetic weekend-long government shutdown to win amnesty for illegal aliens.
Public polling showed the American people viewed the stunt as ridiculous—and red state Democrat Senators running for re-election wanted no part of an attempt to strong arm Donald Trump into accepting amnesty for illegal aliens.
16 Senators – fully one-third of Schumer’s caucus – abandoned him and voted with the Republicans to fund the government without giving amnesty to illegal aliens.
Cuellar’s letter in response to Schumer’s lukewarm press conference performance shows Democrats are splintering in this fight.
And so far, the GOP has managed to maintain a united front.
That gives Trump the upper hand in the upcoming border wall fight.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.