Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., argued Tuesday that the three-week spending deal agreed Monday "advances the ball" toward a legislative fix for Dreamers, pushing back on criticism from progressives over their view that he caved by accepting the deal.
"We're very pleased with how things came out. We're a lot better off today when it comes to the cause of Dreamers than we were four or five days ago," Schumer said, pointing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his promise to bring legislation to the floor for Dreamers by Feb. 8.
Schumer was heartened that McConnell not only made the agreement with Democrats, but with members of his own caucus who want a legislative fix for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
"We have renewed momentum. The Dreamer issue ... is much more highlighted, so we're very pleased with how it worked out," Schumer said during his weekly press conference. "When there's a Republican president, a Republican Senate, a Republican House that are quite recalcitrant against Dreamers, you aren't going to get it all at once. But we're going to keep fighting and we believe we will have a good victory."
"I think we advanced the ball for the Dreamers. We're proud of the role we played," Schumer said.
Schumer came under fire from many within his own party Monday after the deal struck between the two sides, which funds the government and also reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years. Some said he "blinked" by agreeing to a deal that reopened the government.
News also emerged Tuesday that Schumer revoked his offer to President Trump of funding for the border wall in excess of the $1.6 billion he requested in his budget last year. Trump turned down the offer during a meeting between the two on Friday afternoon at the White House, but Schumer said all of that was reset by the spending agreement.
"That was part of a package. It was the first thing the president and I talked about was finishing by, as he said, Tuesday night," Schumer said. "The thought was that we could come to an agreement that afternoon, the president would announce his support, and then the Senate and House would get it done and it would be on the president's desk. He didn't do that, so we're going to have to start on a new basis and the wall offer is off the table."