Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) on Thursday offered several seemingly contradictory answers to whether she would vote for a Republican-backed short-term funding bill.
In December, Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for another month without addressing the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or the legal status of illegal immigrants who entered the country as children. In a statement at the time, Feinstein announced that she would not vote for the CR unless those programs were funded.
"It's absolutely unconscionable that Republicans are leaving these items out of their bill to fund the government. Given the lack of any realistic plan to pass the Dream Act and long-term CHIP funding, it's my intention to vote against the continuing resolution," she announced.
But in remarks to reporters on Thursday afternoon, Feinstein indicated she might support a short-term CR if it was absolutely necessary as Congress once again approaches the funding deadline.
"If we have to, yes," she said. "I hope not. So it's just that difficult precipitous time before you know what's gonna happen."
Less than an hour later, Feinstein's website released a statement indicating that she actually would not vote for the Republican short-term continuing resolution.
"I said in December that I wouldn't vote for a CR without the Dream Act, and I won't do so now," it read.
"I'm also hopeful that we can get away from continuing resolutions and get back to regular order. We can't solve problems by funding the government a few weeks at a time," the statement read. "I'm hopeful that other senators won't kick this can down the road yet again."
A tweet from Feinstein also reiterated that she would not vote for a CR without the Dream Act attached.
I won’t vote for a CR without the Dream Act. We need to get the Dream Act passed, negotiate a multi-year budget agreement and fund the government through September, and we need to do so now.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 18, 2018
But a few hours later, Feinstein offered comments to CNN indicating she "had not made up her mind" about whether to vote for the measure she had ostensibly already announced she did not support.
When CNN asked about her press release saying otherwise, Feinstein did not know what the reporter was talking about.
"I don't know if we did today," she said, glancing at an aide.
"I don't know how I would vote right now on a CR, OK?" she finally said.
President Donald Trump on Friday morning took notice of Feinstein's apparent reversal, tweeting her latest comments with a link to a Washington Examiner article on her position flip.
"Shutting down the government is a very serious thing. People die, accidents happen. I don’t know how I would vote right now on a CR, OK?"
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif)https://t.co/7xP3CBnv5j
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2018
UPDATED Friday, 3:44 P.M.: This post was updated to include Trump's tweet.