Durbin: This Is President Trump’s ‘Shutdown’

‘The Republican controlled Congress has refused to fund the government’

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DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION and our conversation with the number two Democrat in the Senate, Richard Durbin.

Senator, I want to read you some quotes here from various people, including Senator Schumer, who, in 2015 said, a government shutdown would deal a huge blow to our economy. Bernie Sanders said, it is wrong for the right wing Republicans to ignore the results of the last election and hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down the government. You said, open the government. When you open the government, we’ll open negotiations.

So why was it bad then and OK now?

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: It’s not a good thing to do at any point. We have reached a desperate situation. This was the fourth continued resolution. The Republican controlled Congress has refused to fund the government. Been unable to fund the government. They can’t resolve the issues within their own ranks. And so they give us one continuing resolution after the next.

And now we are piling up all the things that need to be done and now we are facing a deadline created by President Trump when it comes to DACA. So we feel there’s an urgency for us to come together and do it quickly. And I hope it’s just a matter of hours or days. But we need to have a substantive answer. And the only person who could lead us to that is President Trump. This is his shutdown.

DICKERSON: The — they obviously say it’s yours, and that’s what we’re in. But — but the deadline’s not till March. Why shut things down now?

DURBIN: Listen, it’s been four and a half months since President Trump said this deadline and said that 780,000 young people who are protected in this country from deportation and can legally work are going to start losing that protection, 1,000 a day, on March 5th. What have the Republicans in the Senate done in the four and half months since? Nothing.

What we have done, three Republican, three Democratic senators is to craft a bill to put this bill before our colleagues and to put it before the president on a bipartisan basis. We’re trying to solve the problem the president created.

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