An angry Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said "almost everybody" in the border security meeting Wednesday at the White House agreed shutting down the government "is a stupid public policy."
"Almost everybody in the room – I don't want to say everybody – believes shutting down government is a stupid public policy," Rep. Hoyer told reporters outside the Oval Office.
Hoyer pointed to 800,000 government workers being at risk, in addition to "million of people who rely on the federal government on a daily basis."
A reporter reminded Hoyer the House and Senate-approved bill is a "non-starter" for President Trump, so "why move forward?," eliciting an even more demonstrative response from the Democrat.
"Because that is our responsibility as a co-equal branch of government, to do that which we think is right," Hoyer shot back, before calming.
"We hope that he will compromise. He ought to compromise. We are for border security, but we are also for operating the people's government in an effective fashion."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., then literally tapped Hoyer out of addressing reporters.
"The president said, 'I am going to shut the government down,'" Schumer told reporters of Republicans. "It is not helping the president. It is not helping the Republicans to be owners of this shutdown. Today we gave them an opportunity to get out of that and open up the government as we debate border security.
"And to say to them, because he says he won't sign it, and use the government as hostage, we should just give in? The American people don't want that. That's bad for our country, and that's not the way to govern."
Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., then briefly concluded the news conference and walked off with Hoyer, Schumer, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as a reporter shouted: "We'd love if you stayed longer. We miss you."
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