WH: If Government Shuts Down, Blame the Democrats

By Melanie Arter | January 17, 2018 | 6:32pm EST
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House on Wednesday said President Donald Trump does not want a government shutdown, and if the government does shut down on Friday because Congress can’t agree on a budget deal, the Democrats are to blame.

“The president certainly doesn't want a shutdown, and if one happens, I think you only have one place to look, and that's to the Democrats, who are holding our military and our national security hostage by trying to push through other policies that have nothing to do with the budget,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

“We would like to, again, get a budget deal done -- a two-year budget deal, a clean budget deal -- and then focus on negotiations, following that deal, with finding a permanent solution to DACA and responsible immigration reform. We've said that many times before. Our position has not changed,” she said.

“But Republicans control Congress. They control the White House. Isn't it your responsibility?” a reporter asked.

Sanders pointed out that it takes 60 votes to pass the budget, and the GOP doesn’t have 60 votes.

“So Democrats either need to decide that they're going to come here to do their jobs, and they're going to govern, and they're going to put our national security ahead of their own personal, political agendas, or they're not. It's really simple,” she said.

“And that's a decision you're going to have to ask the Democrats what's more important -- national security or political agendas. I can't answer that for you,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the president supports a short term continuing resolution although that’s not his first choice.

“We do support the short-term CR. However, that's not our first choice. We'd still like to see a clean funding bill, a two-year budget deal, but we do support the short-term CR, but we're going to continue moving forward in that process,” Sanders said.

“You just said the president certainly doesn't want a shutdown. Last year, he tweeted that a shutdown would be a good thing. So what caused his views to evolve?” a reporter asked.

“He said it would be good politics,” Sanders responded.

“A good shutdown is what he said,” the reporter noted.

“Look, that's never been a preference of this administration. It wasn't then. It isn't now, and again, if that does happen, the blame -- the fault will all lie at one place because we would like to see a budget deal happen,” Sanders said.


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