(CNSNews.com) - "If Senate Democrats want to shut the government down; if the Senate Democrats want to deny funding for our troops; if the Senate Democrats want to stop CHIP funding for unrelated issues, that's a choice they would make, and I don't think it's a good choice for them to make, but that would be their decision to make," House Speaker Paul Ryan told a news conference on Thursday.
Ryan called it "unconscionable" for Democrats to walk away from CHIP funding and military funding "for something that is not a deadline."
The DACA program will end on March 5, while the government will hit a funding gap tomorrow at midnight. Republicans insist that passing a short-term continuing resolution is a more immediate concern than dealing with a program that still has weeks to run.
Ryan said he spoke with President Trump this morning, and "he fully supports passing what we're bringing to the floor."
Earlier, there was some confusion about that, when Trump tweeted on Thursday morning that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) "should be part of a long-term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!"
Republicans added a six-year CHIP reauthorization to the CR in hopes of attracting enough Democrat votes to pass the short-term funding bill.
"Yeah, the president does understand CHIP," Ryan told a reporter who asked if Trump did understand it.
Another reporter asked Ryan why Congress keeps passing continuing resolutions to keep government running.
Again he blamed Democrats: “Because Senate Democrats are not allowing appropriations bills to even be brought up for a vote. Because they’re attaching unrelated issues to (budget) cap negotiations.”
Ryan noted that Congress ought to first agree on spending levels and then fund appropriations to those levels.
“That is how appropriations are supposed to work.” He noted that the House passed all 12 appropriations bills ahead of schedule this year, while the Senate hasn’t brought up a single one.
“And that’s not Mitch McConnell’s fault,” Ryan said. “That is the fault of the fact that it takes 60 votes and the Senate Democrats are refusing to even exercise the power of the purse, and now they’re refusing to get a cap agreement so we can get the power of the purse exercised, so we can fun the military, fund the things like basic health care, fund things like opioids. They’re refusing to even do that over this unrelated (DACA) issue. That’s why we are where we are.”