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Chris Coons: 'Silly' for White House to say Democrats want a shutdown

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Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., believes the White House is unnecessarily spinning the deal to keep the government open past Friday and should just claim it as a win without slamming Democrats. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., says the Trump administration should claim victory for helping to negotiate a bipartisan spending deal for the rest of the fiscal year, and stop trying to say Democrats wanted a government shutdown.

"I don't think there's any Democrat who wanted a shutdown," Coons said on CNN Wednesday. "What we wanted was what we got — a good, balanced, bipartisan negotiation."

He spoke a day after White House budget director Mick Mulvaney claimed that Democrats poisoned the well with the White House after claiming a number of victories in the omnibus bill. Mulvaney spent much of the briefing claiming Democrats wanted a government shutdown in order to hurt the Trump administration.

But Coons said that idea is "silly."

"The president ought to be taking a victory lap and saying that he played a role in getting a great deal done instead of having his [Office of Management and Budget] director wag his finger at Democrats and say we were lusting after a shutdown," Coons said. "I just think it's silly."

While the spending deal doesn't fund many of President Trump's priorities as laid out in his budget proposal, the White House claimed wins over an increase in defense spending and border security. Democrats counted continued funding for Planned Parenthood and a lack of funding for a southern border wall in the bill as victories.

The bill must be signed by midnight Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown.