Government Shutdown on Trump Anniversary Frustrates Him

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is “frustrated” by the government shutdown falling on the first anniversary of his inauguration.

That’s according to budget director Mick Mulvaney, who tells reporters that the White House believes Democrats provoked the fiscal crisis to distract from Trump’s accomplishments in his first year in office.

Mulvaney says, “The Democrats got the shutdown that they wanted on his anniversary.”

He adds of Democrats that Trump “kicked their butts for a year” and charges they were looking for a way to embarrass the administration.

Mulvaney says it is up to Democrats to decide when the government will reopen, and that the White House won’t negotiate on immigration until Democrats agree to turn the lights back on.

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4:40 p.m. Update

Tensions are rising at the Capitol on the first day of the partial government shutdown. Debate in the House screeched to a halt Saturday after Democrats objected to a comment by Texas Republican congressman Pete Sessions, who referred to the “Schumer shutdown.”

Republicans are using the phrase to cast blame on Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, but House rules bar floor remarks impugning another lawmaker. After private discussion, Sessions agreed to withdraw the comment.

Debate was soon halted again after Alabama GOP congressman Bradley Byrne displayed a poster-size photo of Schumer with a 2013 quote calling a shutdown “the politics of idiocy.” Arkansas congressman Steve Womack, the presiding officer, allowed the poster, but Democrats objected and forced a roll call vote. Lawmakers voted, 224-173, to allow the display.

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1:55 p.m.

Republicans and Democrats appear to be no closer to ending a government shutdown, and the White House is indicating it’s waiting for Democrats to drop their demand that a funding bill include protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Budget director Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short are lobbing verbal attacks at Democrats for blocking a spending bill over the unrelated legislation.

Short told reporters Saturday that “it’s like a 2-year-old temper tantrum.”

Mulvaney says the administration is trying to mitigate the impact of the funding lapse, noting many national parks and government offices will be open during the duration. But he says the effects will still be significant.

Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control the White House and Congress.

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1:40 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will not attend a fundraiser at his Florida estate because of the ongoing government shutdown in Washington.

Budget director Mick Mulvaney says Trump will not appear at the high-dollar fundraiser Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate.

Mulvaney also told reporters during a press briefing Saturday that Trump’s participation in the World Economic Forum is up in the air. He says the White House is taking Trump’s visit, as well as the planned attendance of much of the Cabinet at the Davos, Switzerland, event, “on a day by day basis.”

Trump is scheduled to depart Washington for the Swiss Alps on Wednesday evening. A number of White House staffers and agency advance teams are already on the ground awaiting his arrival.

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11:40 a.m.

A Florida fundraiser celebrating President Donald Trump’s first year in office will go on with or without him.

That’s according to a Trump campaign official who was not authorized to publicly discuss planning and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump had hoped to spend the anniversary of his inauguration in Florida attending a high-dollar fundraiser taking place Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate. Instead, the president is reckoning with a federal government shutdown brought on by disagreement with lawmakers over what should be included in a government funding bill.

Trump scrapped plans to depart Washington on Friday. It remains unclear whether he still plans to attend.

Tickets start at $100,000 per couple and $250,000 to attend a round-table. The proceeds benefit a joint committee between Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee.

– By Associated Press writer Jill Colvin

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11:35 a.m.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is rejecting a fallback plan by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a short-term spending plan through Feb. 8.

Pelosi says “there’s no point” in approving a short-term bill unless both sides agree on how to move forward.

She and other Democrats said Saturday that they want “parity” on spending increases for defense and domestic programs such as opioid addiction and community health centers.

Pelosi says that even without a dispute over immigration, Democrats would not agree to a GOP spending plan unless it pays for domestic programs Democrats consider crucial.

Democrats have blamed the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House. Republicans say Democrats are “holding our government hostage” to win protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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