Kasie Hunt to Blumenthal: Democrats May Have 'Lost This Fight' on Government Shutdown

January 22, 2018

MSNBC host Kasie Hunt on Monday pointed out to Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) that "maybe Democrats lost" the fight to push immigration legislation at the expense of funding the government, a decision that led to a government shutdown.

"My first and central question for you is what changed between Friday and now?" Hunt asked.

Blumenthal said what changed over the weekend was the "appreciation for the political realities," prompting Hunt to push back and question his language.

"An appreciation for the political reality, which is code for 'it seemed like everybody was losing.' It seems like maybe Democrats lost this fight," Hunt said.

On Friday, all but five Democrats voted against a short-term continuing resolution (CR), which would have avoided a government shutdown. As a result of the Democrat's filibuster, 60 votes were needed to pass the measure, making it impossible for Republicans to pass the CR without at least some Democratic support. The action by Democrats effectively guaranteed a shutdown.

Less than three full days later, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced on Monday afternoon that he reached a deal with Senate Republican leaders to reopen the government. He said lawmakers would be on track to pass a plan that allows the government to be funded for three weeks.

A vote on final passage is expected Monday afternoon, as the Senate passed a procedural vote allowing the bill to advance 81-18.

Blumenthal said he is more interested in who is hurt by the actions of lawmakers more than being interested in who should be blamed  for the government shutdown.

"I voted  against this short-term stopgap spending measure because it in effect shortchanged Connecticut's needs and priorities," Blumenthal said. "Kicking the can down the road for the fourth time in as many months hurt Connecticut's interest. And I made promises to the people of Connecticut about fully funding our national defense, opioid treatment, disaster relief for Puerto Rico and of course our Dreamers who are left out in the cold."