Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a lingering political backlash from liberal House Democrats over his role in the passage of a bipartisan border bill last week, which saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced to back down from a push to include restrictions on immigration enforcement.
The Senate bill, which was approved by an overwhelming 84-8 vote last week, had $4.6 billion in crucial border funding, but was met with opposition by liberal House Democrats who wanted the restrictions included. In the end, Pelosi, D-Calif., was forced to bring the bipartisan bill to a vote, amid pressure from Republicans and moderate Democrats to pass legislation ahead of the July 4 holiday break.
Now, those in the House progressive wing are turning their ire toward Schumer, D-N.Y., for allegedly not fighting for the restrictions they sought -- provisions such as limiting the amount of time unaccompanied minors can spend at an influx shelter, and reducing funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by millions.
“Chuck Schumer f---d us,” a Democratic aide told Vanity Fair last week.
“Schumer threw all of the House Democrats under the bus and he will pay a heavy price for that,” another Democratic aide told Politico.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week called the measure a “betrayal of our American values,” and one that they will “not forget.”
The drama has led to reports of a rift between Schumer and Pelosi. According to The Washington Post, Pelosi was “blindsided” when the Senate voted overwhelmingly for the bipartisan bill. A House Democratic aide told the outlet that Schumer “destroyed all of our leverage…by not being able to hold his people.”
“The Senate Democrats did us a huge disservice,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told the Post. “The benefit to having one chamber controlled by Democrats is you have people who can fight and win. But that requires the people in the minority chamber to also fight, even if they lose.”
But freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who had declared “Hell no” to voting on the Senate bill, instead seemed to criticize Pelosi.
“We didn’t even bother to negotiate. We’re immediately going to just say yes to what got passed out of the Senate?” she said on CNN last week. “We are a House majority and we need to act like it.”
But one senior Republican aide told Fox News that the process was not unusual. While Pelosi represents the majority in the House, Schumer represents the minority in the Senate.
“What the House Democrats don’t understand is they got rolled on something that is important, but they’re going to get rolled again, so they need to get used to it,” the GOP aide said, referring to House Democrats blasting both Schumer and Pelosi for their leadership on the bill. “It’s people who clearly have not gone through a process like this before.”
Republicans, meanwhile, have continued to focus on closing loopholes that encourage migrants to make the perilous journey with children through Central America in order to be released into the U.S. It is those loopholes, they say, that have led to hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving at the border in recent months -- many of them family units.
“In addition to aid, Congress must close the catastrophic loopholes that are driving the Crisis,” President Trump tweeted last week. “We must end incentives for Smuggling Children, Trafficking Women, and Selling Drugs.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.