Schumer urges McConnell to renegotiate spending proposal
Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday will urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to renegotiate their proposals to fund the government and avoid a shutdown.
In a letter obtained by POLITICO, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Appropriations Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and other top Democrats, warned that Republicans “are pursuing the same path that led to last year’s 35-day government shutdown—funding the President’s controversial, ineffective wall no matter the cost to the American people.”
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Democrats argued that the GOP’s spending plans for fiscal year 2020 “steal $5 billion” from the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill for the border wall and that the proposal would allow the president to take an additional $7.2 billion from military construction projects.
“Democrats have long made clear that we will not support appropriations bills that include these funding allocations,” the Democrats wrote.
“We ask that you immediately begin working with us to secure bipartisan bicameral 302(b) spending allocations that better reflect our shared commitments to, among many other things, the health of our veterans, funding critical science and technology initiatives, the education of our children, and the safety of our communities.”
The letter comes ahead of a test vote Wednesday set up by Mitch McConnell on a House-passed spending package that is expected to fail.
Shelby told reporters Tuesday that the upper chamber will then “keep trying to move bills that will be successful” after Wednesday’s ill-fated procedural vote.
In addition to Schumer and Leahy, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) also signed the letter.
Caitlin Emma contributed to this report.