Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged President Donald Trump to reverse his position on anti-terrorism funding in the aftermath of a New York City terrorist attack that left eight people and injured at least 13 others.
Schumer, D-N.Y., delivered a Senate floor speech Wednesday not long after Trump, a Republican, tweeted criticism of the Diversity Visa Immigrant program that the suspected terrorist, Sayfullo Saipov, used to enter the country from Uzbekistan in 2010.
The visa lottery program was created in 1990. Trump blamed Schumer, who was a member of the House of Representatives at the time, for the establishment of the program. But Schumer was one of eight senators in 2013 that nearly succeeded in negotiating a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would've eliminated the visa program.
Schumer's response to Trump focused on the president's budget proposal that would slash federal anti-terrorism funding for cities, including New York. Funding for other homeland security programs would be cut if Trump's budget plan is adopted.
"I'm calling on the president to rescind his proposed cuts to this vital anti-terrorism funding immediately," Schumer said. "Instead of dividing, instead of politicizing, do something real, Mr. President. Restore these funds now."
The attack Tuesday occurred on a bike path in Lower Manhattan. Schumer said he has been on that bike path twice in the last month.
There is a school, Stuyvesant High School, near the scene. Schumer's daughter attended the school.
"This is our territory, our home," he said. "And the attacks are meant to confuse and terrorize. But as the world has learned after 9/11 and will learn again, New York doesn't scare easily. New Yorkers are resilient. We always bounce back. We won't let terrorists get their way. We will never let terror prevail."
Schumer recalled the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He said President George W. Bush met with him and then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Bush, Schumer said, understood "the meaning of his office."
"President Trump: Where is your leadership?" Schumer asked.