Four days to go before there’s a government shutdown yet the blame game looms intensely as Lawmakers return to Washington.
According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the administration remained optimistic, despite major deterioration over the weekend in progress on a deal after President Donald Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration proposal.
"We definitely want to get a deal done on the budget. We want to a clean budget deal," Sanders said. "I think a number of prominent Democrats have come out and said that they don't feel like attaching DACA to the budget deal is a good idea and hopefully we'll stick to that and we'll get something done."
This comes while Democratic leaders remain evasive over whether they would force a shutdown over DACA if a replacement isn’t reached upon by the Friday spending deadline. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was charged with the responsibility of protecting certain young immigrants from deportation.
An announcement was made by Trump in September indicating that he was canceling the program but gave lawmakers a six-month window to come up with a legislative replacement. It’s unlikely that negotiators will be able to craft a bill that could get through by Friday's midnight deadline.
Preparations are being made by GOP leaders for another resolution to buy additional time, yet it remains unclear if they’ll convince a majority of their own conference in the House to support another short-term bill and also Democrats to buy into the idea.
In the meantime, the groundwork has been laid by both sides to blame each other if the talks are not successful.
A statement released by Sanders on Tuesday told reporters that Trump is "worried that Democrats' unwillingness to actually put the country ahead of their party is what's stalling things from moving forward, whether it's the budget or it's a deal on DACA."
Sanders said Trump's use of a vulgar term last week to describe certain countries did not derail negotiations over the budget and immigration but that Democrats were using it as an "excuse" to deny Trump a victory.
"I think they're using [DACA] as an excuse not to help this president get something accomplished, which I think it's a sad day for our country that they're willing to throw away the progress and negotiations and not make big steps that we need to happen," she said.