White House takes a victory lap after Democrats end shutdown: "They blinked!"

The White House wasted no time in congratulating itself after Democrats in the Senate voted to end the shutdown

Published January 22, 2018 4:53PM (EST)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Shortly following the end of a nearly three-day government shutdown the White House was quick to take a victory lap, patting itself on the back and once again blaming Democrats for the stalemate.

"They blinked," White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN. , "I think the fact they are voting in favor of this proposal that they rejected a few days ago is sort of evidence that they blinked," he explained.

"We were pleased to see Sen. Schumer accept the deal that President Trump put on the table from the very beginning, which was to responsibly fund the government and debate immigration as a separate issue," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in Monday's press briefing.

Of course, it's important to point out that Trump rejected a bipartisan deal proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., just two days after he promised to sign any deal during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform that was televised from the White House. He also rejected major concessions by Schumer after calling him to the White House in a last-ditch attempt to avert the shutdown last Friday.

With the government reopened, it doesn't look like Trump is any more amenable to an agreement.

"The Graham-Durbin proposal is not a proposal the president can sign," Shah told CNN on Monday.

Responding to what Trump's level of trust with Senate Democrats is moving forward, Sanders said, "I wouldn't say it's the highest level of trust, but I think we're certainly hopeful that we can reach an agreement on responsible immigration reform." Sanders added that she hopes issues such as infrastructure will be possible after the stalemate, but insisted that the Democrats not "play politics" and can "put the needs of the country ahead of the political gamesmanship that they've been playing over the past couple of months."

As the federal shutdown ended progressive activists expressed outrage that the Democrats had caved on their opposition and agreed to end the gridlock without a future for DACA recipients, known as Dreamers.

"Last week, I was moved to tears of joy when Democrats stood up and fought for progressive values and for Dreamers," Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice said in a statement. "Today, I am moved to tears of disappointment and anger that Democrats blinked."

Sharry continued, "Without a doubt, a racist, lying bully of a President and a ruthless right-wing Republican Congress are the ones responsible for blocking relief for Dreamers, despite the fact that 87% of Americans support a solution. All the pious statements by Trump and Republicans about wanting to protect Dreamers ring mighty hollow given their tenacious objection to any bipartisan deal that has a chance of gaining a majority."

By Charlie May

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