Rubio: 'I don’t think shutdowns are good leverage'

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump Paul's demand to out whistleblower rankles GOP colleagues MORE (R-Fla.) said on Sunday, following a temporary reprieve from the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, that they aren't "good leverage" in policy negotiations.

“I don’t think shutdowns are good leverage," Rubio said on CNN's "State of the Union." "There's been two shutdowns since the time I've been there, and the aggressor in neither one was the winner."


Rubio has been a member of the Senate since 2011. There have actually been three government shutdowns during his time in office, including two in 2018 under President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE's tenure.

In 2013, under former President Obama, a government shutdown that lasted 16 days resulted from a disagreement between the parties over funding the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.

The president in both cases took the majority of the blame for shutting down the government, with disapproval ratings plummeting for both Obama and Trump amid the respective shutdowns.

Trump on Saturday signed a bill to reopen the government after 35 days. The bill guarantees funding for three weeks and paves the way for additional negotiations over Trump's desire to fund construction on a border wall.

Rubio said on Sunday that he is optimistic a deal can be reached without shutting down the government again. He said the Trump administration has "told" him they're willing to extend permanent protections in some cases for individuals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and Temporary Protected Status holders in exchange for border wall funding.

"I think people will be surprised at how much this White House is willing to do" on immigration, Rubio said on CNN.

"But he's got to get his first priority done," he added, referring to Trump's border wall proposal.

Democrats have so far refused to pledge any funding to a border wall, although they have offered to fund border security separate from a dedicated wall.