House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday that it was "absurd" for President Trump to say a government shutdown might be needed to "fix" the mess in Washington.
"That's an absurd observation," Hoyer told reporters at his weekly pen and pad Tuesday. But he said it could explain why Trump picked Mick Mulvaney as director of the Office of Management and Budget, given his support for the 2013 shutdown.
"For President Trump to say shutting down the government is something that's needed... is absurd, incorrect, and very harmful to the stability of the federal government, and to the trust of our allies around the world that we are operating on such a premise," he said.
Trump sent his tweet came one day before the House is set to vote on the $1 trillion spending package congressional leaders agreed to over the weekend. Democrats have hailed the agreement, which continues to fund Planned Parenthood and leaves in place funding for environmental issues that are a priority to Democrats.
It also doesn't fund Trump's border wall, which had many Democrats crowing that they got the better of Trump in the agreement. Trump replied by saying they had to get a bill past the Senate this time, but warned that later this year, he would push hard for a better spending deal.
"The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We....either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good 'shutdown' in September to fix mess!" Trump tweeted.
Hoyer also predicted that the American Health Care Act will be defeated if it comes up for a vote this week. At the moment, Republicans continue to have problems pulling support from centrist members ahead of the potential vote, which Hoyer believes could happen on Thursday. However, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said Tuesday that the whip count in support of the bill is "making important progress."
"Frankly, I think we're going to have the votes. I think we're going to win if they bring it up," Hoyer said, adding "I think there are going to more than 23 who are going to vote no on their bill."