(CNSNews.com) - A pause in government funding -- or a shutdown as some call it -- will not prevent White House employees from continuing to negotiate a pathway to a continuing resolution, Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, told Fox News Friday morning.
But Short indicated that a shutdown would bring "inconveniences."
"One thing that this administration has decided is that we're not going to politicize this the way the Obama administration did in 2013. We're going to work to keep parks open, things that are necessary to the American people. But nonetheless, I think that those who are most hurt are the troops."
Short said continuing resolutions harm military planning and troops won't get paid when funding runs out.
Short called it "incredibly frustrating" that the regular appropriations process doesn't work and Congress continues to lurch from one continuing resolution to another. "We submitted a budget to Congress last February; we're now in mid-January without a spending bill," Short said.
Senate Democrats have refused to proceed to normal appropriations bills, all 12 of which were passed on time by the House.
Short noted that appropriations bills need 60 Senate votes to pass, so 10 Democrats would need to join Republicans Friday to keep the government funded for another month. "So the reality is that those ten votes we need to get to 60 is what's basically bringing the government to a shutdown and stopping funding of our troops."
Short said the Senate vote on Friday afternoon to keep the government open "looks challenging for us," but he expects negotiations to continue all the way up to midnight, and "I think we'll obviously have to wait to see how it comes out," he said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told Fox News Friday morning that Democrats are "basically holding all of government hostage," denying funding for troops and children's health. He urged Democrats not to shut down the government.
Ryan called it "weird" that Senate Democrats would refuse to approve the continuing resolution passed Thursday night by the House when there's nothing in it that they oppose, even if it doesn't go far enough for them. Among other things, Democrats want the must-pass stopgap funding bill to include a DACA deal to keep 690,000 illegal immigrants in the country.
Republicans say DACA should be part of a larger discussion on immigration reform. President Trump wants funding for a border wall and a merit-based immigration system in exchange for a deal that allows DACA enrollees to stay in the U.S.
Ryan said he remembers Obama trying to weaponize the 2013 shutdown by making it as painful as possible for the American people.
"The administration has a lot of discretion on how that works," he said. "And so this is one of those deals where the president doesn't want a shutdown, Republicans don't want a shutdown, the House passed a bill to prevent a shutdown, and it's solely up to Senate Democarts, led by Sen. Schumer, who used to call this governmental chaos, or as Nancy Pelsoi, the minority leader, used to call this legislative arson. Don't do what you yourself say is wrong," Ryan implored Senate Democrats.
"And just keep the government funded and stay involved in these good-faith, bipartisan negotiations. That's what civil people do; that is what we should be doing; and that is what we have done here in the House."