Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) claimed Thursday that the proposed deal between President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) back in January did not include a wall along the southern border.
MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd asked Merkley whether he and his Democratic colleagues would vote to fund a border wall if Dreamers, illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, receive a pathway to citizenship.
“I mean, just to reiterate, you will vote for funding for the wall, full funding for the wall? I mean, you were willing—you and some Democrats were willing to do that if he really was willing to support citizenship for DACA.” Todd said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided legal protections to Dreamers.
“What was in that bill was border security for a year-by-year basis. And border security done smart. Not a wasted concrete wall in quite the vision that Trump has,” Merkley responded.
Merkley’s claim that the border wall specifically was never part of the January deal contradicts previous reports.
Back in January, the Washington Post reported that Schumer offered Trump full funding for the border wall but later withdrew the deal. There were several other attempts at reaching an agreement, but with Schumer and Democrats saying the wall would not be included.
The Oregon Democrat’s claim also contradicts statements from his Democratic colleagues.
“We already agreed to that back six months ago to solve the DACA problem,” Nelson said in a Thursday interview.
Merkley added that if such a deal resurfaced, he would support it again.
“Absolutely,” Merkley said. “We needed the president to actually have a spine in this case. And he failed us.”