McConnell: Idea That Government Could Shut Down Over DACA Is ‘Ridiculous’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens during a news conference after the Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's controversial education secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. DeVos was approved by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Sunday said he didn’t think Democratic lawmakers would be “very smart” to force a government shutdown if Republicans do not agree to implement protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

“That’s a ridiculous position. There is no crisis,” McConnell said on ABC News’ “This Week,” of the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants whose legal protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were thrown into question when President Donald Trump rescinded the program in September.

He said Trump has given lawmakers “until March to address the issue,” but said “there’s no emergency.”

“I don’t think that Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address any time between now and March,” McConnell said. “That’s an very untenable position.”

The last time a political party forced the U.S. government to shut down, Republicans were trying to defund Obamacare in 2013, a strategy which ultimately failed.

“I can’t imagine that they’d want to shut down the government over an issue that’s not an emergency,” McConnell said, referring to Democratic lawmakers.

“Well, Republicans have a majority in the House and the Senate,” George Stephanopoulos pointed out.

“Look, there’s not going to be a government shutdown,” McConnell replied. “It’s just not going to happen.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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