Trump declares 'big win for Republicans' after shutdown fight

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

President Trump is declaring victory for Republicans after signing a bipartisan bill to end the three-day government shutdown — and is vowing a return to his role as dealmaker-in-chief.

“Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown,” Trump tweeted Monday night after signing legislation that will fund the government through Feb. 8. “Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!”

The White House also declared victory the day before, with press secretary Sarah Sanders claiming that Democrats acquiesed to the deal that “President Trump put on the table from the very beginning.” But according to multiple reports, Trump was disengaged from the negotiations. (“The president was either unwilling or unable to articulate the immigration policy he wanted,” the New York Times reported, “much less understand the nuances of what it would involve.”)

Earlier Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he had struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the Democratic-led shutdown and reopen the government after McConnell promised to take up legislation to address the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Last year, the Trump administration said it would rescind the Obama-era program, which shielded nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children — so-called Dreamers — from deportation.

Trump has maintained that he would like to sign off on a DACA fix, but White House officials say it would need to be paired with measures to improve border security.

Budget director Mick Mulvaney at a White House press briefing on Saturday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“We want a big deal that solves the reason we have a DACA problem in the first place,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday. “If you simply gave amnesty — whatever you want to call it — to the folks who are here, but don’t solve border security, then you’re simply delaying another DACA problem 10 or 15 years from now.”

When pressed on what the administration plans to do to protect Dreamers, Mulvaney said that it “depends on what we get in exchange.”

“What do we get for border security?” Mulvaney asked. “What do we get for the wall?”

Mulvaney also defended Trump’s relative absence from shutdown discussions over the weekend. Schumer said Monday that he had not spoken to Trump since Friday, before the deadline to keep the government open lapsed.

“Sometimes not going to the table is one of the best things you can do,” Mulvaney said.

Schumer’s agreement to end the shutdown angered some of his Democratic colleagues, who argued that they are no closer to a DACA deal than they were before it began — a point Trump underscored on Twitter Tuesday morning.

“Nobody knows for sure that the Republicans & Democrats will be able to reach a deal on DACA by February 8, but everyone will be trying….with a big additional focus put on Military Strength and Border Security,” the president tweeted. “The Dems have just learned that a Shutdown is not the answer!”

In another tweet, he thanked “Crazy Jim Acosta of Fake News CNN” for Acosta’s assertion that the White House was “dancing in the end zone” over the shutdown deal.

The government shutdown forced Trump to cancel a planned weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago, where he was scheduled to attend a dinner commemorating the first anniversary of his inauguration. Of the shutdown’s timing, Mulvaney said, “There was a political motivation to deprive the president the opportunity.”


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