Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are no longer willing to give money to President Donald Trump for his border demands.
Now, new reports are coming in stating that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are planning to rebuff Trump’s requests for additional wall money this month as payback for Trump’s summer of hard-line immigration moves. Politico reported that this is in stark contrast to the billions of dollars that Democrats have handed over for border fencing and security since the start of Trump’s presidency, according to half a dozen lawmakers and aides.
However, the end result of the border wall fight could be another deal with Trump that triggers a fierce backlash within the Democratic Caucus, as Pelosi and her leadership team remain wary of aggressive tactics that would catapult the government into yet another shutdown. The battle over the border wall is one of many complicated issues that Pelosi and her team will be tackling this month, with others being action on guns after a spate of mass shootings and fallout from the impeachment push that gained significant traction within the caucus over the break.
“The reality is, this fall is a critical period,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) said of the caucus’s lengthy to-do list. “Spending an extended period of time with my constituents, it’s pretty obvious they just want us to get this stuff done.”
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Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are deciding whether or not block any more cash for the wall, as they are fearful of intensifying an ugly clash over the border wall and immigration that could shape the 2020 presidential race. However, if they don’t challenge Trump on his border wall, Pelosi and the other Democrats will face blowback from their base, which is furious over high-profile immigration raids and new policies like unlimited detention of migrants or deporting sick immigrants.
“There is a greater and greater sense in the Democratic Party that any support of the administration’s policies is giving cover to moral wrongdoing,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). The lawmaker went on to say that Democrats should insist on providing zero new money for the wall, even as the White House has found ways to circumvent Congress to secure billions for the wall by shifting funds away from military construction projects.
However, a funding fight over border security also risks exposing divides within the Democratic party, which could complicate Democrats’ efforts to complete their packed fall agenda.
“I don’t think that people are cruising for a bruising this September. I get the impression that people are trying to work things out,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). “I suppose we’re at a time where anything can happen. But I don’t see or hear reason to think there’s a blowup in September.”