Sanders: 'Ridiculous' to blame Stephen Miller for shutdown

Sanders: 'Ridiculous' to blame Stephen Miller for shutdown
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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that it’s “ridiculous” for Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: 'I wouldn't mind' a long Senate impeachment process Poll finds Graham with just 2-point lead on Democratic challenger Hill editor-in-chief calls IG report 'a game-changer' MORE (R-S.C.) to blame White House aide Stephen Miller for the stalled immigration negotiations.

“Look, this is the president’s agenda. Stephen Miller is certainly part of that conversation, part of this process but he’s advocating on behalf of the president,” Sanders told Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

“The things that have been laid out by this administration were dictated by the president and he’s the one that wants to see these things.”

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Sanders’s criticism of Graham comes after the South Carolina senator told reporters on Sunday that Miller, a senior policy adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE and an immigration hard-liner, has "been an outlier for years" on immigration.

"Every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we're going nowhere," Graham said.

Sanders slammed Graham for his comments, adding that she doesn’t know why “any United States senator” would refuse to back stricter immigration measures.

“It is almost appalling to me that you have a senator that isn’t stepping up, doing the right thing,” Sanders said.

The stalemate lead to a partial government shutdown that began at midnight on Saturday, when the Senate failed to pass a short-term fund bill to keep the government’s lights on.

At the center of the fight is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump said last year he would rescind while providing Congress with a window of time to craft a legislative replacement. 

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Democrats are pushing for legislation to protect recipients of DACA, which shields immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. 

Sanders echoed congressional Republicans and the White House chief of legislative affairs in saying that the administration and GOP want to reach a compromise on DACA.

“Look, we want to make a deal on DACA, we want to do these things and the fact that he’s not part of the conversation to help move that ball forward and is instead attacking individual members of the president’s staff, I think shows the lengths at what they’re going to blame people for their own failures and I think it’s time they stop playing political games, come to the table, get serious and do their job,” she said. 

Democrats and Republicans have repeatedly pointed fingers at each other over the government closure, which stretched into its third day on Monday.