White House budget director Mick Mulvaney says that a potential government shutdown under President Trump will not be as severe as one under former President Barack Obama.
Mulvaney’s remarks come as lawmakers scramble to craft a new deal on funding the federal government before a deadline midnight Saturday.
“The president is actively working right now to prevent a shutdown,” he said Friday during a White House press briefing.
“It is absolutely my belief that President Obama actively wanted a shutdown in 2013,” Mulvaney added.
“The Obama administration weaponized the shutdown in 2013. They could have made the shutdown in 2013 much less impactful.”
Mulvaney argued that should the government shutdown this weekend, however, the fault would lie with Democrats.
“We do not want this,” he said. “We do not want a shutdown. We are not going to weaponize it. We are going to manage the shutdown differently.”
“We are preparing for what we’re calling a Schumer shutdown,” Mulvaney added in a jab at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“If Mr. Schumer insists on this, he is in a position to force this on the American people. There’s no way you can lay this at the feet of the president of the United States.”
A White House official earlier Friday told CNN that Trump would not attend an event at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida that evening if the government grinds to a halt.
Trump is planning on an event at Mar-a-Lago Saturday celebrating the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
The House passed a four-week, government-wide funding bill late Thursday 230-197, sending it to the Senate with time left before Saturday’s deadline.
Democratic senators have pledged, however, that they will filibuster the legislation until a solution is reached on a controversial Obama-era immigration program.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative temporarily shields children who were illegally brought to the U.S. as immigrants from deportation.
DACA is set to expire in March, leaving roughly 700,000 “Dreamers,” or people who benefit from its safeguards, unsure of their future.