Pres. Donald Trump calls government shutdown ‘a present’ from Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the colonnade as he is introduced to speak to March for Life participants and pro-life leaders in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. The annual march takes place around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court decision that came on January 22, 1974. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is blaming Democrats for the government shutdown — tweeting that they wanted to give him “a nice present” to mark the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. He says Democrats “could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead.”

And as part of a series of tweets hours after the shutdown began, the president is trying to make the case for Americans to elect more Republicans in the November elections “in order to power through this mess.”

Pres. Trump is accusing Democrats of being more concerned with “Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous” border with Mexico.

He’s also noting there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, and it takes 60 votes to move ahead on legislation to keep the government running — so some Democratic support is needed now.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 6: The U.S. Capitol is seen February 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to become the next Education Secretary today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century. Behind the scenes, however, leading Republicans and Democrats were trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown.

Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure.

The following statements were released in the hours after the vote in the Senate:

Sen. Ron Johnson (D – Wisconsin)

“Unfortunately, Senator Baldwin and 43 of her colleagues decided to play politics with people’s lives by refusing to fund health care for vulnerable children, support for the finest among us serving in the military, and the rest of government.”

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D – La Crosse)

“It is shameful and unacceptable that a nation as great as ours has failed in the basic task of funding our government for a full year. The continued inability of Congressional Republicans to find common ground is putting the mission of our armed forces at unnecessary risk. To protect the safety of our country and health of our economy, I stand ready and willing to work together to pass a bipartisan year-long budget and reopen the government immediately.”

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez

“What a massive failure of leadership. Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Republican lawmakers pulled out all the stops to give a massive tax break to their wealthy donors, but now that it’s time to take care of the rest of America they can’t get their act together. The American people clearly want Congress to take care of veterans, combat the opioid crisis, ensure children have long-term access to health care, and protect Dreamers. Instead, Republican leaders have pushed our government into a needless shutdown. This is Trump’s Republican Party: chaotic, destructive and driven by greed. Voters won’t forget who the GOP truly cares about on Election Day.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

“Senate Democrats shutdown the government over petty political games and blind opposition to Republican efforts to pay our troops and fund health care for nine million vulnerable children. This was an unnecessary crisis created by Democrats who jeopardized funding for services for lawful American citizens and our military over an unrelated issue surrounding illegal immigration. The President and Congressional Republicans are committed to fight for the American people – it’s clear Democrats are only interested in fighting for Chuck and Nancy.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning

“Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. Their party is in so much chaos and is so incompetent that they’ve shut down the government that they alone control. They have failed to do their most basic job on behalf of the people, and they should be embarrassed by their recklessness incompetence.”