Sen. Chuck Schumer said Saturday that there needs to be a big deal on a range of topics – including not just immigration, but also domestic spending levels – for the government to reopen.
Speaking to CNN’s Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, the Democratic minority leader said he will not agree to a three-week continuing resolution and that immigration is not the only topic that he wants to see addressed in a bill that he would support.
“We need a good bipartisan agreement that allows us to get a good defense number, get a good non-defense number, get a vote on the Dreamers bill and get that done, and deal with the disasters, too,” Schumer said. “There’s a whole lot to do, and our Republican colleagues have sent us just a CR which doesn’t do the job.”
When asked why he won’t agree to the three-week stopgap measure and just deal with the other issues afterward, Schumer said this would be the fourth time in a year that Congress has passed a continuing resolution, and he refuses to do it again.
Schumer also said that he had not spoken to the President Donald Trump on Saturday, despite seeking a meeting. On Friday, just hours before the midnight deadline, Schumer met with the President at the White House, but the two men could not come to a consensus, and Schumer returned to the Hill without a deal in place. Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, called Schumer later that day with a list of more demands, drawing Schumer further away from agreeing to a deal. Hours later, the government shut down.
On Saturday, thirteen hours into the government shutdown, Schumer made a flagrant attempt to peel Trump away from his Republican colleagues and White House aides, casting rhetorical flies to try to hook the President into a deal his party may not support.
“Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with jello, it is next to impossible,” Schumer said at a press conference.
“It’s next to impossible to strike a deal with the President, because he can’t stick to the terms,” Schumer said. “I have found this out, Leader McConnell has found this out, Speaker Ryan has found this out.”