McConnell warns against shutdown after fiery White House meeting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday warned that the American people don’t want to see a partial government shutdown and expressed hope it could be avoided hours after President Trump in a meeting with Democratic leaders said he was willing to shut down the government for tougher border security.

“I hope that’s not where we end up. I understand it was a rather spirited meeting,” McConnell told reporters when asked by reporters about Trump’s threat.

McConnell later warned that forcing a shutdown would be a political mistake for either side in the battle over funding for a wall on Mexico’s border.

{mosads}“One thing I think is pretty clear no matter who precipitates the government shutdown is, the American people don’t like it,” he said.

“I hope that will be avoided and both sides understand that’s not a great way to end what has, in my view, been the most successful Congress, right of center, in decades.”

McConnell saw his party take a political hit in 2013 when House conservatives provoked a 16-day government shutdown by insisting on legislation blocking the implementation of ObamaCare.

Democrats appeared to take the political hit last year after the government briefly closed over Democratic demands for protections for “Dreamers,” young people who came to the country illegally as children but were given the ability to stay through executive action by the Obama administration. Trump withdrew those actions. 

Congress still has to finish seven appropriations bills this year that fund about 25 percent of the federal government’s discretionary budget.

Government funding for several departments and agencies will expire after Dec. 21.

Trump told Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who were both at the White House Tuesday morning, that he would accept the blame for a shutdown over border security.

“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” he said.

Tags Appropriations Border wall Budget Charles Schumer Donald Trump Immigration Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Shutdown

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