Senate Democrats Ask Trump to Shift Wall Money to Gun Measures

Mary F. Calvert/Reuters

Two senior Senate Democrats on Wednesday asked President Donald Trump to withdraw his $5 billion request for border wall funding and use the money on initiatives to combat gun violence in the aftermath of back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

In a letter, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Patrick Leahy informed Trump that he does not have enough support in Congress for his wall funding request to be included in the federal budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins on Oct. 1.

“Instead, we urge you to support spending funds you have requested for the border wall, on other pressing needs such as proven initiatives that will address the threats of gun violence and white supremacist extremism in America,” wrote Schumer and Leahy, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee that oversees government outlays.

The White House had no immediate comment.

The request, which was expected, surfaced as Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives are trying to pressure Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to call the Senate back early from its August recess and allow votes on universal background check legislation that passed the House in February.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that public pressure should force McConnell to bring the House legislation up for a vote and said her chamber would soon move forward with new gun measures including a ban on high-capacity gun magazines.

The Democratic push on gun control follows mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people and propelled the wide availability of guns in the United States back to the forefront of political debate.

Trump has called for congressional action on guns but has sent mixed messages on the kind of legislation he would sign. He has appeared at times to endorse expanded background checks but has also shifted his focus to mental illness, violent video games and “red flag” incentives for states to deny guns to people deemed a danger to themselves and others.

McConnell has declined to call the Senate back early and instead has instructed the chairs of three Senate committees to work on legislation that can be debated when lawmakers return from their recess on Sept. 9.

The House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over gun restrictions, is expected to return from its summer break a week early to work on new legislation.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Sherri
Member

Senate dems can pound sand! #BuildTheWall

Screwtape
Member

To Dave Hardesty and Tom Bodine,

Absolutely. Since some of the money came from the military the wall should not only be an opportunity for marksmanship training, but also courses on constructing minefields and antipersonnel devices. They might even work on canine training and chemical warfare.

But you say, “Screwtape, that’s inhumane.” So what’s your point?

Long-range shooting is a skill which deteriorates if not regularly practiced. Sell hunting tags to help fund the wall.

Screwtape
Member

Interesting and typical. Now that money’s been “found” they want their piece of the action. instead of moving money from one of their other projects.

If financial geniuses like Swalwell and AOC are typical, then these people should be kept away from money as much as possible.

Bonnie Keever
Member

No no no quit doing your witch hunt you would have the money

Tom Bodine
Member

Anything to try to block a Trump accomplishment, go ahead and vote for these morons and see where it gets you.

Dave Hardesty
Member

‘Senate Democrats Ask Trump to Shift Wall Money to Gun Measures’

Wish granted, now we can put guns on the wall to make it even better than originally planned.

Phoenix
Member

This article title almost made me spit my coffee everywhere laughing. They are delusional.

Otis
Member

Just what ‘proven’ initiatives are these boobs talking about?

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