March 6, 2017

NOT ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: Schumer’s plan to stop the wall.

• Schumer’s thinking: There’s nothing the Republicans would be willing to offer that could get Trump the eight Democratic Senators he needs to fund the wall. Mitch McConnell’s only other option would be to invoke the nuclear option and bypass the filibuster. But Democratic appropriators are betting the Republican leader won’t be willing to undermine such a fundamental Senate tradition just to pay for Trump’s wall.

• The evolving plan, being discussed by Schumer’s office and Senate appropriators: If Republicans put money for the wall into a bill, Democrats block it. It doesn’t matter what else is in the bill — Schumer will make it about the wall. The way Democrats see it, if they can block the wall, they’d crush a central feature of Trump’s political identity. And as the face of the strategy, Schumer would thrill the Democratic base (though less so the red-state Democratic senators up in 2018).

Whatever Schumer or others might think about the justness or efficacy of a border wall, the concept remains a popular one. If that’s the place where he and his Senate caucus want to make a stand, then help them make sure it’s a very public stand.

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