A warning letter from top Senate Democrats was sent to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell early on Monday, telling them not to try to fund Trump’s Mexican border wall in an upcoming $1 trillion spending bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and others fired a volley against Republicans by threatening a government shutdown if the border wall funding and “poison pill” measures, such as rolling back environment and consumer protections, are included in the spending package.
As reported by the Associated Press, the warning reads:
“We believe it would be inappropriate to insist on the inclusion of (wall) funding in a must-pass appropriations bill that is needed for the Republican majority in control of the Congress to avert a government shutdown so early in President Trump’s administration.”
Congress is facing an April 28 deadline to approve a large number of spending bills for the fiscal year or face a partial shutdown. The spending package is separate from the Trump proposals for the 2018 budget that would be effective on Oct. 1. The budget under contention is a large package of spending bills left over from last October.
A partial shutdown, says ABC, is a real possibility. The letter to McConnell states:
“All 12 appropriations bills should be completed and they should not include poison pill riders such as those that roll back protections for our veterans, environment, consumers and workers and prohibit funds for critical health care services for women through Planned Parenthood. We strongly oppose the inclusion of such riders in any of the must-pass appropriations bills that fund the government”
The letter from Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats threatens a filibuster showdown if Republicans attempt to attach spending for controversial Trump administration agenda items to the budget.
Although Schumer was silent last week when queried about the Senate Democrat’s intentions to start a filibuster over spending for the border wall, Monday’s letter states that Democrats are unified and would strongly oppose such funding, as well as any attempts to defund of Planned Parenthood.
Unlike some of the other Trump agenda items so far, like the repeal and replace movement against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the GOP will need Democrats to sign off to get the budget through the Senate. It’s likely that hawk-minded conservatives are going to be unhappy with the Democrat’s unwillingness to compromise on defunding the EPA and other programs in order to add money to defense spending.
Funding for the Mexican border wall Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail is only one of the areas of contention between the two parties, and it appears that Democrats are ready to put up a fight.