Schumer Warns of Government Shutdown Over Trump’s Border Wall

 Schumer Warns of Government Shutdown Over Trump’s Border Wall
  • Democratic leader also cites plan to defund Planned Parenthood
  • Congress must pass spending bill by April 28 to avoid shutdown
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talks with aide Matt House in the Capitol on Jan. 24, 2017.

Photographer: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Senate Democrats warned Republicans Monday that attempts to take funding away from Planned Parenthood or pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall in a stopgap spending bill that must pass by late April would result in a government shutdown.

The threat from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic leaders sets up a climactic first showdown with the president, particularly with their inclusion of Trump’s signature border wall proposal.

“If Republicans insist on inserting poison pill riders such as defunding Planned Parenthood, building a border wall, or starting a deportation force, they will be shutting down the government and delivering a severe blow to our economy,” Schumer said in a statement.

Up until now, Trump hasn’t needed Democratic votes to stock his cabinet or advance the repeal of Obamacare, but a spending bill keeping the government open is subject to a 60-vote threshold in the Senate. If Congress doesn’t act, a partial government shutdown would begin on April 29.

Democrats also warned against including funding for a “deportation force” as the Trump administration emphasizes ramped up arrests and deportations of immigrants in the country illegally.

A Planned Parenthood funding fight brought Congress to the brink of shutting down the government in March 2011, and immigration has also been a major fight in previous spending bills.

The threat comes as Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating a spending bill behind the scenes, but with no clear way to break the looming impasse. Republicans have been mostly focused on their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, including a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Democrats also want to preserve provisions in current law requiring an equal increase in defense and non-defense spending, but that demand contradicts Trump’s plan to significantly boost defense spending while imposing deep domestic spending cuts.

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