Mulvaney: Chances for a Shutdown Are Between 50-60 Percent Right Now

Posted: Jan 19, 2018 10:57 AM

We're thirteen hours way from the federal government running out of allocated funding and Democrats on Capitol Hill are still refusing to vote for any deal that doesn't include a DACA fix. 

Headed into the White House Friday morning, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was asked about the chances of a government shutdown at this point and he put the odds between 50 and 60 percent. He also said the drama surrounding the current negotiations has been overblown. 

"I think it's ratcheted up. We were operating under a sort of 30 percent shutdown up until yesterday, I think it's ratcheted up now. We've had our meeting just about a half an hour ago, a teleconference with a bunch of agencies to tell them to start to implement their lapse plan, the next step in preparing for a lapse in funding, that's what we call a shutdown, the formal name of it. 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 told reporters according to the pool report. 

"I'm handicapping it now at some place between 50 and 60 percent. But again we're planing for it as if it's 100 percent. That's what we do, we run the government, and we will run the government if a bill passes, we will run the government if a bill doesn't pass," he continued. 

When asked about a plan B should a shutdown go into effect, Mulvaney reverted back to the White House stance of wanting to keep the government open. 

"We'd like to keep the government open. What we'd really like the Democrats in the Senate to do is tell us why they don't like the bill. Keep in mind, they like clean CRs, you've heard them say that before. They don't like shutdowns. They like the six-year extension to CHIP, and many of them like the delays to things like the medical device tax. Really what they're doing is they're inserting a new element which is DACA. Keep in mind, go back and watch what they said about folks during the 2013 shutdown who wanted to talk about things like the Obamacare repeal at that time," he said. 

"One of the criticisms they made of folks like me is that I was inserting non-financial issues into an appropriations process, which is exactly what's happening now. So I recognize the fact that Washington does not understand the meaning of the word hypocrisy and irony. The truth of the matter is they're doing the exact same thing they accused the Republicans of doing in 2013. The better practice would be either to articulate what you don't like about the bill or vote for it and move forward. We can deal with DACA between now and March 5, there's no reason DACA has to be dealt with this week," he continued.

President Trump was expected to leave for Florida today, with a Mar-a-Lago party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration planned for Saturday night, but may stay in Washington if Democrats refuse to make a deal.

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