(CNSNews.com) - "OMB is preparing for what we're calling 'the Schumer shutdown,'" White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told a news conference Friday morning.
He expressed surprise that Senate Democrats are "opposing a bill that they don't oppose: They're for clean CRs," Mulvaney said; "They're for the extension to the CHIP program...they don't oppose anything in the bill, but they’re opposing the bill."
Democrats apparently are willing to stop government funding for the sake of 690,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and now insist they should have permanent legal status if not full citizenship.
"There is absolutely no reason to have to insert a DACA discussion, an immigration discussion, into the funding bill today," Mulvaney said, especially since the DACA program will remain in effect until March 5.
The Trump administration and its Republican allies "do not want a shutdown," Mulvaney said, but if there is one, it will not be "weaponized" like the shutdown President Barack Obama allowed in 2013.
Mulvaney indicated that he will encourage federal agencies to use carry-forward funds (or funds that they are sitting on) or to use transfer authority to make the shutdown "much less impactful."
For example, parks will be open this time, Mulvaney said, but trash won't get picked up. Fannie and Freddie will be open, the Post office will be open, the TSA will be open, "but again, all of these people will be working for nothing, which is simply not fair. We still need Congress to appropriate these funds," he added.
Asked why Democrats should be blamed for a shutdown when Republicans control all three branches of government, Mulvaney got testy with CNN's Jim Acosta:
"I have to laugh when people say that," Mulvaney said. "You know as well as anybody that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass appropriations bills. Right, you know that. OK, so when we only have 51 votes in the Senate, then you have to have Democrat support to fund the government. So that's the answer to your question."
Mulvaney said President Trump is continuing to make phone calls in an effort to avert a shutdown, calling members of both parties on Friday morning.
The House passed a continuing resolution Thursday night, with six Democrats voting for it. Eleven Republicans, mostly fiscal conservatives, voted against it.