President Donald Trump’s incoming acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the partial government shutdown could continue into next year.
“It is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” as the shutdown began its second day.
After Trump and Congress failed to resolve a dispute over funding for border security and Trump’s border wall on Friday, the government went into partial shutdown. Mulvaney said Sunday morning that the White House had moved down from its demand for $5 billion and hoped Democrats would move up from their offer for $1.3 billion in border security funding.
Mulvaney’s comments came after the Senate adjourned on Saturday, which meant the shutdown would likely continue past Christmas.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Mulvaney said Trump remained steadfast in his demand for wall funding.
“The President’s not going to not accept money for a border wall,” Mulvaney said.
He said Trump was “willing to discuss a larger immigration solution,” however, as a way to resolve the standoff.
Asked about the gap between Trump’s campaign promise that Mexico would pay for his wall and his demand as President for taxpayers to fund it, Mulvaney reiterated Trump’s recent claim that the renegotiated trade deal would indirectly amount to Mexico paying for the wall. He also touted an announcement that Mexico would hold some asylum seekers during their US immigration proceedings.
ABC anchor Jonathan Karl said in response that neither of those things are the same as Mexico paying for the wall, and Mulvaney conceded, “Technically, you and I both know that it cannot work exactly like that.”
“Department of Homeland Security can’t actually spend money from Mexico,” Mulvaney said. “We have to get it from Treasury.”
Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Democratic leadership refused to give Trump money for the wall, but were open to other border security funding.
“What Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have both told the President is we are not going to build a wall, period,” Durbin said. “Secondly, if you want to talk about border security, there are many things we can do.”