Politics

CNN Host to Markey: Is it ‘Hypocrisy’ for Democrats to Threaten Government Shutdown Over DACA?

CNN host Erin Burnett on Thursday pressed Democratic Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.) on whether it is "hypocrisy " for Democrats to force a government shutdown over immigration reform after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said in 2013 it would be "governmental chaos" to force a shutdown for the same reason.

The House passed a continuing resolution with a vote of 230 to 197 on Thursday night to avoid a government shutdown, sending the bill to the Senate to vote on before the weekend.

It remains uncertain, however, if the bill with pass the Senate. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R., Ky.), have berated Democrats for prioritizing the immediate passage of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration amnesty program solution over the passage of a budget. Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to pass the proposed continuing resolution (CR), and as Republicans hold only 51 seats, Democratic support is required.

Burnett questioned Democrats' unwillingness to support the CR.

"You're not getting everything, but you don't have a deadline to do immigration by this weekend. You have a deadline to do immigration over the next few months," Burnett noted.

In response, Markey said it would be no way to run the government if they didn't deal with immigration now.

"Next month, then we come back again … you can't run the government that way," Markey said.

Burnett then played a clip of an October 2013 interview on ABC's "This Week" where Schumer derided the concept of the immigration issue causing a government shutdown.

"You know, we could do the same thing on immigration. We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say, ‘We’re shutting down the government–we’re not gonna raise the debt ceiling, until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos," Schumer said in the clip.

"Okay, here we are, senator," Burnett said to Markey. "Democrats are about to let the government shut down because they aren't getting immigration reform. It couldn't be more perfect here. Is this hypocrisy at its height?"

Markey pushed back against Burnett's question, accusing President Donald Trump and Republicans in the House and Senate of holding so-called "Dreamers"–those previously protected under the Obama-era DACA executive order–hostage. He went on to call for Republicans to sit down with Democrats so they could tackle some of the other issues they care about, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and funding for Puerto Rico.