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Mick Mulvaney: Shutdown Deal Due in 'Next 24 Hours'

Image: Mick Mulvaney: Shutdown Deal Due in 'Next 24 Hours'
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By    |   Friday, 19 Jan 2018 07:06 PM

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that he believed a deal to keep the government running could be reached "in the next 24 hours" — not in time to avoid a shutdown at midnight on Friday.

"I think there's a deal in the next 24 hours," Mulvaney told Wolf Blitzer on CNN in an interview.

"We're in the weekend, so we get more flexibility.

"The only way to entirely avoid it for the Senate to pass exactly what the House passed," Mulvaney said.

"In theory, they could pass something a little different — and the House may go through some special procedural actions to get it approved.

"If the Senate makes any changes, it would have to go back to the House and that could take a couple hours or even a day."

Mulvaney's comments came as the Senate rushed to meet a midnight deadline to pass funding legislation to keep the federal government operating.

The House approved a 30-day continuing resolution late Thursday that would keep the government open through Feb. 16.

Senate Republicans and Democrats remained bitterly divided Friday over whether to include legislation to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program and to protect about 700,000 immigrants affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

President Donald Trump met with Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Friday at the White House in a last-ditch attempt to reach a funding plan.

The president called Schumer, the six-term New Yorker whom Trump has supported with campaign contributions in previous years, to the Oval Office for the meeting.

Schumer later told reporters that "we made some progress," while President Trump called the session an "excellent preliminary meeting" on Twitter — adding that a "four-week extension would be best."

With only 51 votes in the Senate, Republicans would need at least 12 Democrats to approve the 30-day extension.

Two Republicans, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky, said they would not back the temporary extension.

Late Friday afternoon, Democrat Joe Donnelly of Indiana said he would back it — joining Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

A 16-day partial federal shutdown in October 2013 cost American taxpayers $1.4 billion. Other closures occurred in 1995 and 1996.

Mulvaney told Blitzer that Donnelly's support may bring more Democratic support of the House plan.

"They are taking longer look at this and understanding what is at stake here," he said. "There's no reason to put military pay at risk.

"No reason to ask them to work without pay, which is what a shutdown does.

"Folks are starting to realize that the shutdown is not a very good thing.

"Maybe even some of the Senate Democrats are reading their own rhetoric when they said it would be absurd to shut it down over non-fiscal issues."

Mulvaney said that "the president has been actively engaged all day" in trying to reach a deal to keep the government open.

"The administration is against a shutdown," he declared. "Period. End of story."

Mulvaney also dismissed comments from Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland that Schumer apparently supported a five-day extension that would not include DACA.

"It made me sort of laugh to myself," he told Blitzer.

"So, let me get this straight: Schumer is OK for voting for a five-six-eight day without DACA but not a 28-day without DACA.

"The DACA deadline is not until the first week of March.

"It's not that much of a pressing issue — and there isn't that much of a difference between a five-day or an 18-day.

"What's really driving this is a larger spending bill for the year and DACA," the budget director explained. "The chances of getting that done in five or six days is zero, which is why the House was focusing on that four-week extension.

"That's the amount of time would it take to not only cut a deal, but it takes a while to draft these things, to review these things.

"You don't do a major piece of legislation like a DACA in four or five days."

Mulvaney also beat back Blitzer's question on whether President Trump should be blamed for any shutdown.

In 2013, Trump, as a private citizen, said that President Barack Obama was at fault for that partial closure.

"I think that's especially easy," began Mulvaney, a South Carolina Republican congressman at the time. "I lived through the 2013 shutdown.

"There's one big difference: President Obama wanted a shutdown — or, at least, I believe he fully did.

"He did not engage. He did not call Republican leaders or conservative members of the House who were involved in that debate.

"He wasn't engaged like the president is.

"I absolutely believe that President Obama wanted the shutdown because he thought Republicans would get blamed," Mulvaney said.

"This president is doing the exact opposite: He is out there trying to make sure the government stays open."

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White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that he believed a deal to keep the government running could be reached "in the next 24 hours" — not in time to avoid a shutdown at midnight on Friday.
us, mick mulvaney, government shutdown, deal
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2018-06-19
Friday, 19 Jan 2018 07:06 PM
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