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Left-wing slams Chuck Schumer over agreeing to $1.6 billion for border

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Chuck Schumer
Chuck Schumer.
Joshua
Roberts/Reuters


  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a backlash
    from progressive Democrats after offering $1.6 billion in border
    security funding in the spending bill. 
  • Progressive Democrats immediately attacked Schumer over his
    offer, arguing that he’s too quick to acquiesce to Republican
    requests. 
  • “We didn’t build a blue wave so that they could build a
    wall,” one critic tweeted. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a backlash from
progressive Democrats after offering $1.6 billion in border
security funding as part of a deal with President Donald Trump
and the GOP on a government spending bill.

Schumer insisted on Tuesday that the money would not go towards
the construction of a border wall or an expansion of detention
facilities or the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. And
he said his caucus won’t offer more than the $1.6 billion, even
as Trump says he would “totally
be willing
” to shut down the government beginning on Dec. 7
if he doesn’t get $5 billion in funding for the US-Mexico border
wall. 

“Our position has been clear from the beginning: Ds & Rs have
a months-old agreement in the Senate. $1.6B for border security,
NOT a concrete wall or increases in detention beds or ICE
agents,” Schumer tweeted.
“We should stick to this agreement. If POTUS interferes, he is
responsible for a shutdown.”

Sixty votes are required to pass the spending bill through the
Senate, so Republicans need Democratic buy-in. 

Progressive Democrats immediately attacked Schumer over his
offer, arguing that he’s too quick to acquiesce to Republican
requests and that Democrats should flatly refuse to compromise on
the issue. 

“The correct amount of funding for the wall is $0.00,” tweeted
New Yorker writer Osita Nwanevu, who also pointed out that
Schumer was previously
opposed to any funding
for the border wall. Liberal MSNBC
host Chris Hayes called
Schumer’s move “malpractice, politically and
substantively.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in, arguing in a
Tuesday tweet
that there should be a public debate over how much border funding
Democrats are willing to agree to and that there’s “no reason
Democrats should be giving in and allocating any funding for a
wall, let alone $1.6 billion.” 

Others held that Schumer is fundamentally misrepresenting the
interests of a changing, increasingly progressive caucus. Some
argued it makes little sense for the party to compromise on
immigration when Trump’s strategy of ginning up his base by
fearmongering over the so-called border crisis was apparently
unsuccessful in the midterms. 

“Schumer’s problem is he is forever trapped in the mindset of a
circa 2002 Democrat, where nothing the party believes in is
supposedly popular and everything has to be offered on Republican
terms,” tweeted
Oliver Willis, a liberal blogger and Democratic activist. “Of
course it wasn’t even true then. But Schumer hasn’t learned and
is the leader.” 

Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the liberal organizing
group Indivisible, called the move “sleepwalking.” 

“We didn’t build a blue wave so that they could build a wall,”
she tweeted Tuesday.

When Schumer posted
photos
on Wednesday morning of his first grandchild, Noah,
who was born this week, one commenter replied, “Congrats! next,
ZERO money for Trump’s wall.”

This comes as Schumer’s counterpart in Congress’ lower chamber,
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is also facing pressure from
a group of lawmakers who want fresh leadership in the body. Some
Pelosi allies have argued that Schumer has received relatively
little pushback from the left-wing of the party as compared to
Pelosi — a discrepancy some attribute to a sexist fixation on
Pelosi.

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