Durbin: Trump Is to Blame for the Shutdown After He Called off the DACA Deal
CHUCK TODD: All right. As many people have pointed out, Republicans, who are all for a shutdown when President Obama was in office, are opposed to one now. But Democrats, too, have had a change of heart. Here’s what three prominent Democrats sounded like in 2013, when Republicans were threatening to shut down the government over health care.
REP. NANCY PELOSI: You do not use the threat of shutting down government to try to advance your policy agenda. That’s just not the way it works.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: You could say we’re shutting down the government. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform. It would be governmental chaos.
SEN. DICK DURBIN: But if we’re talking about competency and accountability, I have a question for the Republicans. We just went through a government shutdown of your creation. Who is going to be held accountable for that?
CHUCK TODD: Well, joining me now is one of those Democrats you just heard from, the number two Democrat in the United States Senate, it’s Dick Durbin of Illinois. Senator Durbin, welcome back to Meet the Press.
SEN. DICK DURBIN: It’s good to be here.
CHUCK TODD: All right, I know you guys hopefully are going to go solve this problem after the show is over. But let me ask you this, why draw the line in the sand now. It seems like you, to the average American, you guys are fighting over how long the window of negotiation on immigration should be. One month or five days, two weeks or three weeks. Do you see how, to the average American, they’re not quite sure why this is the line in the sand versus say a month from now?
SEN. DICK DURBIN: Let me tell you, the average American feels frustration that we haven’t solved the problem and many problems that we face here in Washington. But let’s put it in context, Chuck, you understand the Republicans control the White House. The Republicans control the Senate. The House of Representatives and through their nominees, even the U.S. Supreme Court. What we’re trying to do is to find a solution to a shutdown which we believe is a Trump shutdown. Now you’ve heard it over and over. You played it early in your broadcast here. But the reason is pretty clear. When the president said on January 9th, and I was sitting right next to him, “You send me a bill to solve the problem” that he created on DACA, “I’ll sign it. I’ll take the political heat.” Within 48 hours, Lindsey Graham, Republican South Carolina and I presented that bill to him. He rejected it out of hand. This last Friday, when Chuck Schumer was invited to the White House, he sat down with the president over lunch. There were two other people in the room. They hammered out an agreement where Chuck Schumer made major concessions on one of the major issues, the president’s wall. Within two hours the White House called and said, “That deal is off.” So if you wonder what kind of shutdown it is and who’s to blame, the president in both instances could’ve stepped forward to show leadership.