Democrats might try to extend shutdown: Mulvaney

Monday, 22 Jan, 2018

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney is defending himself from charges of hypocrisy in his attacks on Democrats over the government shutdown, given his own role at the center of the last fiscal clash in 2013.

Short - the White House's director of legislative affairs - said that Trump met with the Democrats last week.

"Why wouldn't the White House, the executive branch, do everything they can to take care of the troops while this is being adjudicated?" Social security and most other entitlement programs would continue for now, he said.

With less than 14 hours until the budgetary issue deadline, Mulvaney said the chances of a shutdown are "50-50".

He said it was still being decided whether President Donald Trump will attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week if the government remains closed.

Mulvaney says the administration is trying to mitigate the impact of the funding lapse, noting many national parks and government offices will be open during the duration. He accused the Obama White House of purposefully closing high-profile federal sites to reap political gain.

"We're going to manage the shutdown differently, we're not going to weaponize it", Mulvaney said.

The pay period on Friday for federal workers is one goal post, he said Saturday, adding that government staff were notified over the weekend whether they would be working during the shutdown.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney addressed the press on Friday morning over the possible government shutdown.

Mulvaney isn't apologizing for the shutdown tactics he employed years ago, saying he opposed that year's stopgap spending measure because it funded agencies that were implementing "Obamacare".

Mulvaney said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union: "Everything that was in the bill Democrats support and have voted for previously". How is that not exactly what is happening today?"