Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele says that the GOP is to blame for the government shutdown after lawmakers missed the deadline to pass a funding bill late Friday.
"Despite the rhetorical effort to paste Democrats with 'Schumer's Shutdown' and to redefine what constitutes majority control of the Senate ('60'? Really?), the fact remains that this shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP and it appears a majority of Americans agree," Steele told Politico.
Steele, who chaired the RNC from 2009-2011, before former White House chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTim Scott says he'd support Trump reelection bid Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans MORE, called the shutdown "pitiful" and said it "certainly could have been avoided."
The former Republican Party chief blamed President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE for sinking a potential deal, saying Trump "wound up negotiating against himself by taking a potential agreement off the table."
Democrats have sought to pin the shutdown on Trump, with Senate Democrats saying Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) were close to a deal on Friday but the president backed away from it.
Republicans, meanwhile, have blasted Democrats for insisting that a funding bill include a legislative fix for those affected by Trump's decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.
Congressional leaders were scrambling on Saturday to figure out a plan to fund the government after the Senate defeated a House-passed stopgap spending measure late Friday, shortly before the shutdown took effect at midnight.