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Government shutdown enters Third day amid shifting blame game

ABC News
ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — America’s federal government shutdown is now in its third day at the start of a work week, with lots of uncertainty looming.

At noon Monday, the Senate is set to vote on ending debate and proceeding on a proposal to fund the government through Feb. 8, and the House will return to the Hill to await action in the upper chamber.

Results are anything but certain for the vote, which was originally scheduled for 1 a.m. Monday Morning but got pushed back.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is holding a daily press briefing at 1:30 p.m., when she will likely weigh in on the vote and the status of negotiations.

“The president’s been very clear on exactly what he wants,” Sanders said on Good Morning America today.

“First and foremost we have to reopen our government. We have to fund our government. As soon as that is done, we’re more than happy to negotiate on responsible immigration reform,” she said.

The blame game was in full force this weekend, with President Donald Trump tweeting about how the shutdown began with the first anniversary of his inauguration: “Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown,” he wrote.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., weighed in that the president is not being well-served by staff in the negotiations over immigration issues that are key to resolving the impasse and reopening the government.

ABC News’ David Wright asked Graham if he meant Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller — a hardliner on immigration and close adviser on the issue to Trump.

“I’ll just tell you his view of immigration has never been in the mainstream of the Senate,” Graham said of Miller. “And I think we’re never going to get there as long as we embrace concepts that cannot possibly get 60 votes.”

The White House hit back, dismissing Graham’s comments and calling him an “outlier.”

“As long as Senator Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully instead of our own American citizens, we are going nowhere.  He’s been an outlier for years,” said White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley.

On Saturday evening, Eric Trump spoke to Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro about the shutdown, saying, “Honestly, I think it’s a good thing for us, because people see through it.”

“I mean, people have seen a year that’s incredible. It’s been filled with nothing but the best for our country, ‘America First’ policies, and they’re happy with where we are as a nation. It has the Democrats worried,” he said.

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