January 18, 2018

Sen. Ed Markey pointed out the Republican dilemma on Morning Joe today: They don't believe in government, but they have to run for government to make sure government doesn't work.

Mika Brzezinski asked Markey if he thought we were headed for a government shutdown.

"It's largely in the hands of the Republicans," he said. "They control the House. They control the Senate. They control the presidency. We're really not on the room right now -- in that Broadway play Hamilton, the best song is 'In The Room.'

"We don't know where the room is. They're handling this the same way they handled the health care bill last year, the tax bill. They want to try to run the government all by themselves. And the Democrats are saying, we want this to be bipartisan, and thus far, they have not been willing to do it. It's going to be up to President Trump. If he wants the government to stay open, he's going to have to sit down and negotiate a deal over the next two days."

Brzezinski said Trump blames the Democrats if there's a shutdown.

"Well, the president is missing the point that he's not on the outside anymore," Markey said. "Now that they control every single part of the government, they're still pretending they don't have a responsibility to make the government work, to keep it open. We're in our fifth month of this fiscal year and we still don't have a resolution of DACA, of children's health, of community health, of opioid funding, of insuring the disaster relief to Puerto Rico. It's five months and they keep wanting to pass a CR, continuing resolution. In the Republican control, CR really means 'can't resolve.' Just can't decide amongst themselves and they're going to pay a big political price unless they come to the table to try to resolve the issues the way the Constitution intended them to be resolved."

"Do you believe without DACA, without a protection for those recipients, there can be a CR signed?" Willie Geist asked.

Markey was blunt.

"No, I don't. I think the time has come. This brinkmanship that the Republicans had been engaging in has to end. We're not going to blink. The Democrats want a showdown. We want to resolve these issues. The American people want to resolve these issues," he said.

He pointed out that even Mitch McConnell doesn't know what Trump wants.

"I am absolutely not voting for any bill that does not have protection for the Dreamers. It is time for us to morally discharge our responsibility to these young people. They are innocent, collateral damage to political paralysis which is gripping Washington. We cannot allow them to be held hostage any longer. I will not vote for a continuing resolution that does not protect these young people," Markey said.

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