Chuck Schumer is taking his big spending boost for Donald Trump’s border wall off the table.
The Senate minority leader, through an aide, informed the White House on Monday that he was retracting the offer he made last week to give Trump well north of the $1.6 billion in wall funding Trump had asked for this year, according to two Democrats. And now they say Trump will simply not get a better deal than that on his signature campaign promise.
Schumer “took it off,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “He called the White House yesterday and said it’s over.”
In the now-famous cheeseburger summit last Friday with Trump, Schumer offered a large increase in border wall spending as a condition for a broader deal to help Dreamers. But after that offer was rebuffed — prompting the three-day government shutdown — the president has now “missed an opportunity to get the wall,” one Democratic aide said.
Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, said Tuesday that the Schumer offer “never existed.”
“You can’t rescind money you never really offered in the first place,” he said on Fox News.
Some key Republicans — including Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a key GOP immigration negotiator — had already considered using the promise of border wall funding totaling more than $1.6 billion to lure more conservative votes. A Dreamer plan written by a bipartisan group of six senators, including Flake, had included Trump’s $1.6 billion request as part of a broader, $2.7 billion border security package.