Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization 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."
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio: “I don’t think shutdowns are good leverage … I think it’s important to separate the tactics from the goal and the policy aim” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/rLNV2ArvPu pic.twitter.com/nPSAFp1dHI— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 27, 2019
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 TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right 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.
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.