Trump: Democrats 'could have easily made a deal' to avert shutdown

Trump: Democrats 'could have easily made a deal' to avert shutdown
© Greg Nash

On the morning after a government shutdown, President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE cast blame on Democrats for deciding to "play shutdown politics" when they "could have easily made a deal."

He also turned the current shutdown into a campaign slogan for the 2018 midterm elections.

"Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border," Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. "They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!"

The government shut down at midnight, after the Senate failed to pass a funding bill that the House had passed on Thursday.

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The sticking points for negotiations over votes on the bill largely center around immigration issues. The Democrats want strong protections for so-called Dreamers, immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children and are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall MORE (D-N.Y.) said early Saturday that he offered to put funding for Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall on the table in exchange for Democratic demands, and thought he had reached a deal with the president. Ultimately, he said, Trump walked away from a deal.

Schumer said that Trump’s actions on Friday made it seem like he was “rooting for a shutdown.” 

The White House on Friday night slammed Democrats for putting “unlawful immigrants” ahead of the military and other urgent funding needs, calling them “obstructionist losers, not legislators.”

“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.”

Trump added on Saturday morning that Republicans "need 60" votes in the Senate in order to avoid future obstruction of his legislative agenda. The Republican Senate majority is currently 51-49, not enough to pass most legislation on a strict party-line vote.

But the Senate vote for the Trump-backed continuing resolution, which would have kept the government running for another four weeks, was not a party-line vote. Five Democrats voted for the bill, while four GOP senators voted against it. 

Two polls released Friday indicated most Americans would blame Trump and the Republicans over Democrats in the event of a shutdown.

Leaders have called for ongoing negotiations with the White House over the weekend, in hopes of reopening the government by Monday.

— Updated 7 a.m.