Schumer calls on Trump to drop $5 billion border wall request, redirect cash to combat gun violence, white supremacy
Chuck Schumer wants President Trump to set his priorities straight.
Scumer is preparing to formally call on the president to drop his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding and instead use that cash to combat gun violence and white supremacy, according to the top Senate Democrat’s office.
“The dual scourges of gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism in this country are a national security threat plain and simple, and it’s time the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress start treating them as such,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement to the Daily News on Tuesday.
“Republicans and this administration need to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to addressing gun violence and stopping the rise of domestic terrorism, especially stemming from white supremacy.”
The Senate minority leader is expected to file the formal request before his chamber’s appropriations committee resumes discussions in September.
A White House spokesman did not return a request for comment Tuesday evening.
Trump is unlikely to budge on his wall cash demand, as getting taxpayer-funding for the barrier he used to promise Mexico would pay for remains one of his key priorities ahead of the 2020 election.
However, Schumer’s request will allow for Democrats to keep gun control and white supremacy at the forefront in the wake of a couple of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left more than 30 people dead earlier this month.
Multiple people killed at an El Paso shopping mall, one person in custody
Authorities say the suspect in the El Paso shooting specifically targeted Mexicans and posted a racist manifesto online before the massacre that echoed some of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric about Hispanic people.
Specifically, Schumer’s office said he will ask the administration steer the border cash towards FBI and Department of Homeland Security programs fighting violent extremism and domestic terrorism as well as gun violence research by the federal Centers for Disease Control.
Schumer stressed that Trump’s own FBI director, Christopher Wray, recently asked for such resources.
“Democrats are prepared to work in a bipartisan fashion to respond to Director Wray’s clarion call on a briefing call with Senate Democrats last week for additional resources to address this national security crisis on our own soil,” Schumer said.