Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

White House's Mulvaney: Chances of government shutdown are now 50-50

White House's Mulvaney: Chances of government shutdown are now 50-50

"We're not going to weaponize it", the budget director told reporters at the White House.

Those moves come as a clear sign that the Trump administration is trying to limit the shutdown's impact on voters (and not screw up their vacation plans) so as to minimize the political fallout of a government shutdown in a city where the GOP has unified control of the government. Short said however that Democratic lawmakers have no bill text they are insisting on and that President Donald Trump has repeatedly indicated what provisions must be in any such bill to preserve the DACA program.

The current funding measure expires at Friday midnight.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced that Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney will hold a briefing this morning to address the increasing likelihood that the government will shut down.

Mulvaney added that while there's talk of a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the government through next week, there could still be a funding lapse if the Senate passes anything other than what the House - which he said is expected to leave Washington - approved Thursday. "It seems that they are just hell-bent on getting to a shutdown".

He said White House officials had a teleconference with the heads of various government agencies earlier Friday morning to start implementing a "lapse plan" to prepare for a cutoff of funding.

Shutdown: Be careful what you wish for, Donald Trump
It was during that meeting that Trump questioned why the USA would want more immigrants from " shithole countries " in Africa. The President sought to frame the debate ahead of the vote, warning of the impact of a shutdown on the military.

Democrats are insistent that any CR include a codification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, which is not part of the House-passed bill.

He said of the prior administration, "They chose to make it worse". "Parks will be open this time and they weren't before. We can deal with DACA between now and March 5, there's no reason DACA has to be dealt with this week", he continued.

It was still unclear how the blame for a potential shutdown would shake out, but the White House's efforts to exculpate the President were at odds with comments Trump made when he was a private citizen in 2013.

This marks the fourth short-term spending bill Congress has had on its plate since September.

The last government shutdown occurred on October 1, 2013 and lasted for 16 days after Congress failed to agree on a budget.

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