White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Democrats are asking for a massive government spending bill in negotiations to end the shutdown that simply can’t happen.
Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that Democrats want a lot from the negotiations to end the shutdown: A deal to protect illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children (known as Dreamers), funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the removal of spending caps for the military, and other issues.
All of those priorities — save for funding for CHIP, which was included in the continuing resolution that would have kept the government open — have to be worked out in further negotiations after the government reopens, Mulvaney said.
“What the Democrats are talking about is a very complex, very large, actually a massive spending bill with a lot of other things added to it. That's not going to get done between now and tomorrow morning, and now and next Friday, so the government needs to be open,” he said.
“They need to vote to open the government tonight or tomorrow and then we can start talking about those bigger issues.”
Mulvaney also threw cold water on the claim that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered President Trump funding for his border wall. He noted Schumer offered to authorize funding for the wall, not appropriate it.
“He wants to authorize the wall to be built but doesn't want to spend the money to get it built,” he said. “There was money authorized in 2006 that Mr. Schumer voted for for a wall that still hasn't been built because that money hasn't been spent.”
Mulvaney added Trump is much more engaged in the process to end the shutdown than President Obama was in 2013.
“President Obama did not engage in that process. I know. I was there,” he said. “I was in the precursor of the House Freedom Caucus in 2013 and we never heard from the White House. We actually believed they wanted a shutdown. That's the difference here. President Obama wanted a shutdown so that he could weaponize it and make political points out of it, which is exactly what he did.”