Mulvaney: We’re Not Going To Do What Obama Did and ‘Weaponize’ the Shutdown

‘We are going to run and are running the shutdown very differently now than the Obama administration’

DICKERSON: Here’s — I’m confused about this military thing.

Here is what Congressman Mulvaney said in 2013 during the last shutdown about it. You said, “In fact, about 75 percent of the government is open for business.”

And so you said back then — you said, “In the meantime, you should know that our troops are still being paid and Social Security checks are still going out.”

So why was it true in 2013, when you said the troops are still being paid, and not true now?

MULVANEY: A couple different things.

First of all, Social Security checks do go out and will go out. Social Security is not impacted by any government shutdown, because the money is mandatory and not appropriated.

On the military, here is how it works. And I have much greater understanding of a shutdown now that I’m the OMB director. They will go to work, they do go to work. Folks who are in military, overseas, folks here at home will go to work. They just don’t automatically get paid.

What has to happen is Congress has to go back after the shutdown is over and vote to pay them for the time during the furlough.

DICKERSON: Claire McCaskill, senator, Democratic senator, brought up a vote to pay them while the shutdown was going on. That vote didn’t — Mitch McConnell didn’t bring that up for a vote.

Why doesn’t — why wouldn’t Congress, why wouldn’t the White House, executive branch do everything they can to take care of the troops while this is being adjudicated?

MULVANEY: A couple of different things on that.

Yes, I understand several of those unanimous consent requests came up in the Senate on both sides. For example, I think Mitch McConnell also brought up a unanimous consent request to take a vote today before 1:00 in the morning tomorrow morning, and that was objected to.

I think, when you get to those unanimous consent requests, those are procedural votes. And it goes to sort of the dynamic flow in the Senate.

But as to the impact of the shutdown on people, the president made it very clear to me Friday night — we talked late Friday, right before the lapse came into place. And he said, look, I want to you do everything you can to make sure this impacts as few people as possible.

We are going to run and are running the shutdown very differently now than the Obama administration ran it in 2013. You cannot convince me that the Obama administration did not weaponize this for political purposes.

The president has told me, make sure as many people can go to work on Monday as they can. Make sure you use every tool legally available to you to keep as much of the government open. And that’s what we will do.

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