McConnell: Democrats holding country 'hostage'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate McConnell warns Democrats against 'artificial timeline' for infrastructure deal 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 SchumerChuck SchumerPoll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime America's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill 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 TrumpBiden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns Lack of transatlantic cooperation on trade threatens global climate change goals 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.