Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer confirmed on Tuesday that the offer to discuss funding for the controversial US-Mexico border wall had been taken back due to what he said was Trump’s failure to follow through on the outlines of an agreement discussed last week.
Reports said Trump and Schumer had discussed a $31 billion package to pay for security measures along the southern border, far larger than the amount the US president had told lawmakers he would need to fulfill his signature campaign pledge.
“We’re going to have to start on a new basis and the wall offer is off the table,” Schumer told reporters, saying that the offer was initially “part of a package.”
The news comes amid intense negotiations in Congress between Democrats and Republicans about an immigration package that may include granting legal status to about 800,000 immigrant children who have received temporary protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration policy founded by former President Barack Obama.
Trump said last year that he was ending the program and gave Congress until March to deliver a legislative fix.
The US president has made it clear that the funding for the wall must be included in any immigration package that concerns DACA recipients.
Trump says Mexico will pay for the wall, a claim that leaders of the southern US neighbor have steadfastly rejected.