Chuck Schumer: ‘Democrats Have Always Been for Smart and Effective Ways to Secure Our Border’

By CNSNews.com Staff | January 5, 2019 | 2:50pm EST
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House, Jan. 3, 2019. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) went to the Senate floor on December 22—the first day of the ongoing partial government shutdown—to declare that his party had always been for “smart and effective” border security measures and to say that Democrats were ready to make a deal with President Donald Trump to fund the parts of the government that were unfunded as long as the deal included no funding for a border wall.

Since then, Schumer and newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) have stuck by that position.

“So President Trump, if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall, plain and simple,” Schumer said at the start of the shutdown.

“Democrats have always been for smart and effective ways to secure our border,” Schumer said. “We are pushing for technology, like drones and sensors and inspection equipment.”

“We are also open to discussing any proposals with the President as long as they don't include funding for the wall, but in order for an agreement to be reached, all four congressional leaders must sign off and the resident must endorse it and say he will sign it,” Schumer said then.

Here is a key excerpt from Schumer’s Senate floor speech at the start if the shutdown:

“So President Trump, if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall, plain and simple. The Senate is not interested in swindling American taxpayers for an unnecessary, ineffective, and wasteful policy. What we do support, Democrats and Republicans, is real, effective border security--but not a wall. The wall is President Trump's bone to the hard-right people. It is no way to spend $5 billion, for a political bone.

"I have heard the President and his allies in the media say Democrats don't support border security. 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. Every single proposal we made to the President included $1.3 billion for border security. The Trump shutdown provides zero dollars for border security, but I have never supported a border wall, and I challenge anyone on the hard right to find a time that I--or any expert--has supported a wall like what the President has proposed.

“So where do we go from here? Well, three proposals are on the table, two by Democrats--Leader Pelosi and I--one by Leader McConnell, each of which would reopen the government and provide $1.3 billion in border security. We are also open to discussing any proposals with the President as long as they don't include funding for the wall, but in order for an agreement to be reached, all four congressional leaders must sign off and the President must endorse it and say he will sign it.

 

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