White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back on the idea that people could blame Republicans for failing to pass a spending bill, saying Democrats would be to blame for a shutdown.
“The president certainly doesn't want a shutdown. And if one happens, I think you only have one place to look, and that's to the Democrats,” Sanders said during her Wednesday press briefing.
A reporter had asked Sanders whether President Donald Trump thought it was acceptable for Republicans and Democrats to allow a government shutdown at the end of the week.
She accused congressional Democrats of holding the U.S.'s military and national security hostage “by trying to push through other policies that have nothing to do with the budget.”
On Tuesday, Trump similarly tweeted that Democrats would hurt the military by forcing a government shutdown over immigration:
The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all and Border Security. The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever. We need a merit based system of immigration, and we need it now! No more dangerous Lottery.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2018
But during the briefing, the reporter suggested Republicans were culpable, given their majorities in Congress and control of the White House.
Sanders responded by pointing out that Republicans didn't have the 60 votes they needed to block a filibuster in the Senate.
“It takes 60 votes, and Republicans don't have 60 votes,” Sanders said.
“So Democrats either need to decide that they are going to come here to do their jobs and they are going to govern or they're going to put their national security ahead of their own personal, political agendas, or they're not.”
Sanders clarified that after passing a budget deal, the administration would seek a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, something Democrats wanted as part of a stopgap spending measure.
That seems unlikely, however, as Democrats disagreed with Trump's repeated demand that Congress offer border wall funding in exchange for a DACA fix.
Watch Sanders answer those questions below, via Fox News.