President Trump blamed Democratic lawmakers for a government shutdown Saturday, accusing them of “holding our Military hostage” over their demand that a short-term spending bill include protection for illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.
“Democrats are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration,” he tweeted. “Can’t let that happen!”
Earlier in the day, he blasted Democrats for playing ‘Shutdown politics’ instead of working to make a deal with their counterparts across the aisle.
“They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead,” said Trump, who on Saturday officially marked his first year in office.
Congress overnight failed to reach an agreement on a temporary spending bill to keep the federal government from running out of money. It has resulted in the temporary shuttering of at least some agencies and services and furloughing some non-essential employees.
The GOP-led House passed a temporary spending measure earlier this week but it failed in the Senate, where the Republican Party has just a 51-49 member majority.
House and Senate members remain on Capitol Hill this weekend. The House is holding a rare Saturday session, but procedural moves in the Senate will likely mean no final resolution until at least Monday.
“For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60,” Trump said in another tweet Saturday. “That is why we need to win more Republicans in 2018 Election! We can then be even tougher on Crime (and Border), and even better to our Military & Veterans!”
Republicans have said the stalemate is essentially the result of Democrats wanting the temporary bill to include protections for illegal immigrants brought as children to the United States, considering Trump is winding down Obama-era protections from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Democrats have said Republican proposals have also come up short on funding for such concerns as the opioid crisis and hurricane disaster relief for Puerto Rico.
Trump on Saturday also tweeted: “This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown."
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.