Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans on formally asking President Trump to withdraw a request for $5 billion in border wall funding and instead redirect the money toward addressing “gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism,” according to reports.
“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,” Schumer said in a statement to Politico, which first reported the request. He added that Democrats are prepared to work with Trump and Republicans to respond to the FBI’s call for additional resources to combat domestic terrorism.
Congress is on its summer recess until after Labor Day, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has resisted Democratic calls to have lawmakers return early. McConnell has said that once Congress is back in session, legislation to expand background checks of prospective gun buyers and so-called red flag laws to allow firearms to be confiscated from people believed to pose a threat would be “front and center.”
The bottom line: Trump’s about as likely to go for this as he is to endorse Joe Biden for president, but Schumer’s move is an attempt to keep pressure on Republicans on the gun issue in the wake of the mass shootings that killed 31 people in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.