Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told ABC’s “This Week” said of the possibility that the government will shut down when it runs out of funds at the end of the week, “It’s not going to happen.”
“There’s not going to be a government shutdown,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked whether the Republican-controlled Congress could keep the government running. “It’s just not going to happen.”
Democrats have threatened to withhold their votes for government funding unless Congress acts to provide legal relief to tens of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants who are protected by an Obama-era program that is set to end in March.
McConnell argued there is no “crisis” that would justify tying saving the so-called Dreamers to government funding.
“That’s a ridiculous position. There is no crisis,” McConnell said. “There’s no emergency. The president has given us until March to address it. I don’t think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency.”
Government funding is expected to run out on Friday.
Sounds like McConnell is whistling past the graveyard. Democrats appear to have made a decision to withhold their votes on a funding bill unless Republicans include an amendment to authorize DACA. Apparently, McConnell is not taking them at their word.
Budget Director Mich Mulvaney, speaking on “Face the Nation,” sounded less optimistic:
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, appearing on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” was slightly less confident, but predicted Republicans would be able to avoid a shutdown despite a “broken’ system of government spending.
“I think there’s a group of right-wingers in the House who say they want to shut the government down,” he said. “There’s a group of Democrats who want to shut the government down over DACA. And there’s a group of lawmakers from some of the hurricane states who want to shut the government down until they get what they want. This just sheds light on the fact that the appropriations, the spending system is broken when any little group can sort of hold the government hostage. We need to get beyond that. I think that we will, I don’t think you’ll see a government shutdown.”
That “group of right wingers” in the House can be counted on to vote against just about any spending measure. That’s why Republicans need a couple dozen Democratic votes to keep the government running.
In the end, I think Trump — who would more than likely sign a DACA bill in March — will give in and agree to authorize the program now. There are enough Republicans who would vote for DACA to pass it anyway, so why not avoid the mess of a government shutdown and get it done this week?