White House: Senate Democrats Are ‘Obstructionist Losers,’ No Immigration Negotiations Until Dems Reopen Government

Sen. Chuck Schumer with President Donald Trump / Getty

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The White House laid blame for the government shutdown Friday night on Senate Democrats, calling them "obstructionist losers" in a blistering statement.

Furthermore, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House would not negotiate on immigration while the shutdown was ongoing.

"Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown," Sanders said in a statement. "Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children and our country's ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands."

"This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators," she added. "When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the President and his Administration will fight for and protect the American people."

The shutdown began at midnight Friday after Democrats effectively blocked a short-term spending bill when all but five of them voted against cloture. The measure would have needed 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster.

Their main objection was it failed to address the status of the "Dreamers," the immigrants brought to the country illegally as children who were shielded from deportation by the 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order.

President Donald Trump rescinded DACA in March and gave Congress six months to find a legal solution.

All but four Senate Republicans voted for the spending bill, which passed in the GOP-controlled House on Thursday. The bill funded the government through Feb. 16 and extended the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years.

Republicans have used the hashtag #SchumerShutdown, a reference to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), since the deadline to find a legal solution for the Dreamers is not until March. They said there was no need to attach immigration to a bill to keep the government funded through February.

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