WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer took funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall off the table in negotiations over immigration issues with the White House, according to a Democratic aide.
A staffer who works for Schumer called the White House on Monday and said the proposal, which Schumer put on the table during a Friday meeting with Trump, was no longer operative, the aide said.
Politico first reported that Schumer had taken the wall funding off the negotiating table.
Trump invited Schumer to the White House on Friday over lunch to negotiate a deal for a funding bill, which was being held up over a fight for commitments to address the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The invitation came as a surprise to many of Trump’s aides. As is often his practice, Trump told few people of his plans to ask Schumer to the White House for talks.
When they met, they discussed the consideration of military funding far above the White House’s request and, enticingly for Trump, full funding for Trump’s border security demands.
The border offer went beyond what was included in the bipartisan plan conceived by Sens. Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham which Trump rejected earlier this month in vulgar terms.
Including funding for a border wall in immigration reform talks could push away liberal Democrats from supporting the long term funding, but attract conservative Republicans from getting behind a deal.
During his speech on the floor Friday, Schumer said he reluctantly put the border wall on the table.
“In exchange for strong DACA protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for discussion,” Schumer said at the time. “Even that was not enough to entice the President to finish the deal.”