Mulvaney: Government shutdown on the table

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney to start hedge fund Fauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line MORE on Sunday warned that another partial government shutdown is possible if congressional negotiators fail to reach a border security deal that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE finds acceptable by week’s end.

Mulvaney warned on “Fox News Sunday” that “a government shutdown is technically still on the table.”

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He reiterated the warning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” telling host Chuck Todd that “you absolutely cannot” rule out another shutdown because the president will not sign on to law a deal he finds unacceptable.

“Let's say for sake of this discussion that the Democrats prevail and the hardcore left-wing Democrats prevail,” Mulvaney said, noting that one Democratic lawmaker proposed on Twitter over the weekend that Congress shouldn’t appropriate any money for the Department of Justice.

“Let's say that the hardcore left wing of the Democrat party prevails this negotiation and they put a bill on the president’s desk with, say, zero money for the wall or $800 million, some absurdly low number. How does he sign that? He cannot in good faith sign that,” he added.

Funding for about 25 percent of the federal department will expire after Feb. 15.

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are at loggerheads over Trump’s request to provide $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mulvaney said on NBC that he didn’t know whether a deal is possible and noted that there is now a lull in the talks.

“I honestly don't know because it depends on who you listen to, and in fact, I think what we're seeing now in these negotiations, and again, the White House, at the request of all the parties on the Hill, have sort of stepped back,” Mulvaney said when asked how close negotiators are to a deal.

He also blamed divisions among Democrats for the lack of progress, arguing that it has made it difficult to pin down their negotiating position.

“It’s all over the map, and I think it’s all over the map because of the Democrats are all over the map,” he said, pointing to ideological differences between liberals represented by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board remembers Ginsburg: She 'will forever have two legacies' Two GOP governors urge Republicans to hold off on Supreme Court nominee Sanders knocks McConnell: He's going against Ginsburg's 'dying wishes' MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez to voters: Tell McConnell 'he is playing with fire' with Ginsburg's seat Lawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (D-N.Y.) and more moderate Democrats, such as Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterPence seeks to boost Daines in critical Montana Senate race This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans Filibuster fight looms if Democrats retake Senate MORE (D-Mont.), a negotiator, and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMurkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates MORE (D-Del.), a moderate.