Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Sunday that Congressional Democrats should not “give an inch” in the ongoing budget debate with President Donald Trump that has caused a nearly two-week government shutdown with no clear end in sight.
The shutdown, which is due in large part to a disagreement over how much federal funding should be allocated to border security, has put 380,000 federal employees on furlough, while another 420,000 are working without pay.
“What should Democratic leaders in Congress do?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked McAuliffe, a Democrat, on “State of the Union.”
“Not give an inch,” McAuliffe replied. “Democrats should not give an inch.”
“Donald Trump owns this. He said he wanted to own it in the December meeting in the Oval Office,” he said, referring to a meeting Trump had with Democratic leaders earlier this month in which he preemptively took ownership of a potential shutdown.
McAuliffe, who raised suspicions earlier this month about a potential 2020 presidential campaign bid after he made over 200 calls to allies, told Bash that “I’m obviously looking at it.”
“I have got time,” he said. “I have 40 years of working for this party. I have plenty of friends in many states. So I don’t have to rush into this,” McAuliffe said about making a decision to run.
Earlier Sunday, sources involved in the budget negotiations told CNN that Trump is set on not budging in the debate. According to the sources, the President is telling officials and lawmakers he won’t sign a bill that comes to his desk with only $1.3 billion allotted for border security, an amount much lower than the $5 billion he initially wanted.
“People can’t live without a paycheck,” McAuliffe said.
When House Democrats take control of the chamber next month, and McAuliffe said they should “take up the bill that the Senate passed, day one, pass it, send it to the Senate, Mitch McConnell.”
“They already voted for it unanimously,” he said. “And send it to the President’s desk.”
The former governor also lambasted Trump, whom he called “an angry, emotional, unstable man.”
(Americans are) tired of this angry man, emotional man in the White House, who — he’s a constant liar,” McAuliffe said of the President.