Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote McConnell: 'Time to move on' from Trump impeachment talk MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday ripped Democrats, saying they are letting a “radical fringe” sink government funding negotiations by proposing a cap on the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds.

“This is a poison pill that no administration, not this one, not the previous one, should ever accept," McConnell said from the Senate floor. "Imagine the absurdity of this: House Democrats want to set a limit on how many criminal aliens our government can detain.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that negotiations seemed to be “on track” and in a “pretty good place” until this past weekend. 

“House Democrats decided to add a poison pill demand into the conversations at the eleventh hour," he said. "It’s a new demand. It’s extreme."

Negotiations to prevent another partial government shutdown appeared to hit a snag over the weekend.

Democrats acknowledged on Sunday that they had proposed a cap on the number of ICE detention beds, arguing it would force the Trump administration to focus on “serious criminals,” and that numbers were in line with those from the Obama administration.

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig Shelby20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall Conservatives urge Trump to stick with Moore for Fed Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field MORE (R-Ala.) said on Monday that the demand had become an “obstacle” to the talks, with a key group of negotiators meeting that day to try to resolve the stalemate. Without a deal by Frida, Congress would need to pass another continuing resolution to fund approximately a quarter of the government or risk another shutdown.

Democrats have viewed ICE as a priority in negotiations for weeks, including an offer they made late last month that they said “significantly reduces” the number of ICE beds.

McConnell on Monday accused Democrats of supporting a “get out of jail free card” and that Democrats were willing to support “craziness” from some of their members.

“This is where some Democrats are. A get out of jail free card for criminals because the radical left doesn’t like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” he said.