(CNSNews.com) – White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement last night that President Donald Trump will not negotiate with Democrats on the issue of legalizing “unlawful immigrants” until Senate Democrats vote to fund the government.
Sanders put out her statement after a cloture vote to end debate and go to a final vote on the government funding bill that passed the House on Thursday failed in the Senate.
“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” Sanders said.
“Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans,” she said.
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” she said.
“This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators,” Sanders said. “When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the President and his Administration will fight for and protect the American people.”
The short-term funding bill that would keep the government running until Feb. 16 passed the House by a 230-197 vote on Thursday. In addition to keeping the government running on its current basis for approximately another month, it also extended the Children’s Health Insurance Program—a Democrat priority—for another six years.
It also permitted funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and numerous programs that President Trump called for eliminating or phasing out.
While the bill does not legalize any illegal aliens, it also does not include provisions—such as ending funding for Planned Parenthood—to which Democrats would object.
“They don’t oppose anything in there,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said at a Friday press conference before the Senate vote.
“They have nothing in this bill that they do not like,” said Mulvaney. “The only reason they are not voting for it is that they want other things to be added to it and they want a shutdown. That’s the only explanation we have.”
While the bill does not defund anything the Democrats want funded—such as Planned Parenthood—it does not legalize any illegal aliens currently in the United States.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program will expire on March 5. It allows certain individuals who came to the United States as illegal aliens while still minors to stay and work legally in the United States. The congressional Democratic leadership wants to grant them permanent legal status in the United States.
“The main thing Democrats want added is DACA,” a reporter said to Mulvaney yesterday.
“There have been months of work,” Mulvaney said. “As you see with any major piece of legislation, it doesn’t and shouldn’t come together overnight. There’s no DACA bill to vote on and there’s no emergency in terms of the iming on DACA. DACA does not expire until March 5th. So there’s absolutely no reason to tie these two things together right now.”
At least 60 senators need to vote to invoke cloture on a bill in the Senate, thus ending debate on it and moving to a final vote on the bill itself. The cloture vote on the spending bill last night was 50 to 49, with one senator—John McCain (R.-Ariz.)—not voting.
Five Democrats voted for cloture: Tom Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitcamp (N.D.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) .
Five Republicans voted against it. One of these was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who voted against it so that under the rules he could ask for the bill to be considered again. Two others were Sen. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.). Still two others were conservative Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) and conservative Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.).
“I think government spends too much money,” Paul told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, in explaining his vote.
“Our debt this year, or our deficit this year, will be close to $800 billion. Next year, it’s projected to be near a trillion,” said Paul. “So, for decades now you have heard of Congress putting spending caps in place—self-imposed rules to try to get spending under control. Well, this spending bill will exceed those caps. One of those caps were called pay-go caps, and we put them in place a dozen years ago, and I think we have exceeded them, I don’t know, seven hundred times, twenty-nine times in the last couple of years. So, really, if we say we are fiscal conservatives we ought to be fiscal conservative. So, I just not voting to exceed the spending caps, and I am not voting for $700-billion deficits annually.”
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