President Trump spent Friday morning making calls to Capitol Hill in an effort to avert a government shutdown, hours after House Republicans narrowly passed a four-week spending deal that looks poised to be rejected by the Senate.
"We're trying to keep it open," White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters Friday morning, saying the president has been making calls to various lawmakers.
"He was very active yesterday in bringing together the House to get 230 votes. I think he's making continued calls this morning. He's called both bipartisan members today," Short later added during an on-camera briefing about the shutdown with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
"He is leading on this issue," he said.
Senate Democrats announced Thursday that they have enough votes to block the short-term resolution from garnering 60 votes in the upper chamber. At least three Republicans – Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Mike Rounds of South Dakota – have signaled they plan to vote against the measure, almost guaranteeing its demise unless some Democrats vote in favor.
"I guess the bottom line is we're working to make sure there is no shutdown but if the Senate or the House can't get together to finalize a deal, we'll be ready," Mulvaney said.
"The president is actively working right now to try to avoid a shutdown. I would contend it's dramatically different than what President Obama did," he added, claiming the previous administration "weaponized" the 2013 government shutdown for "political purposes."
Democrats have protested the continuing resolution, which would continue current funding levels until mid-February, demanding that GOP leaders include some fix for young illegal immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if they want their support.
"We can deal with DACA between now and March 5," Mulvaney said. "There's no reason DACA has to be dealt with this week."