President Donald Trump on Thursday deflected concerns that Congress may be unable to pass a new spending bill to keep government operations afloat.
“We’ll see what happens,” he told Reuters in an interview. “If there’s a shutdown, there’s a shutdown.”
Lawmakers are hoping that a stopgap measure will provide congressional leadership more time to negotiate a larger funding bill.
The deadline for Congress to pass a spending bill is midnight on Friday — coincidentally, President Donald Trump‘s 100th day in office.
But a short-term continuing resolution, or CR, introduced late Wednesday by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., would extend funding to May 5, until Congress can pass a bill that would fund the government through September.
“We’re working on the funding of government. We’re getting that through” on Friday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said of the CR on Thursday.
Republicans have indicated a willingness to pass a stopgap funding measure without any Democratic votes.
But Trump told Reuters in the interview on Thursday that Democrats would be the culprit if the federal government were to shutter.
Democrats bristled at the suggestion that the blame would be on them, however.
“We are never going to shut government down. In fact, we don’t even have the power to do so,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, on Thursday.
“They have the majority,” she said of Republicans. “They have the president. They have the Senate. They have the House. Any shutting down of government, the ball is in their court.”
ABC News’ Veronica Stracqualursi