McConnell: Democrats holding country 'hostage'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Poll finds Dems prioritize health care, GOP picks lower taxes when it's time to vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan MORE (R-Ky.) blasted Democrats in a floor speech Thursday night over their threats to block a House-passed bill funding the government, saying they are holding the country "hostage" over immigration. 

"We ought to pass this resolution, and we ought to get back to work," he said. 

McConnell spoke for a little more than an hour after the House approved a bill to fund the government. Without new legislation from Congress, the government will shut down at midnight Friday.


Democrats and Republicans are battling in the court of public opinion over who would be to blame for the shutdown. 

McConnell said it would be Democrats, who he charged were shoving aside the military and children by opposing the House bill, which includes a six-year extension of the children's health insurance program. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers MORE (D-N.Y.) fired back that McConnell is "looking to deflect blame but it just won't work."

"Our leader, our republican leader, has said he will not negotiate until he knows where President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE stands," he said. 

Schumer was referring to McConnell's comments earlier this week that Trump has not yet made clear what proposal he would support on a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

A fight over that program, which protects nearly 700,000 workers from deportation, is at the center of the shutdown battle. Democrats want legislation to replace the Obama-era program that Trump is ending.