Schumer Sycophant: Acosta Makes a Fool of Himself at Briefing, Schooled by Mulvaney

Hours ahead of a possible government shutdown, CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta debased his already self-centered act by playing the role of sycophant on Friday morning for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) by tangling with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney over basic facts about Senate procedure.

“I was going to ask about your comment at the beginning of this, you said it is the Schumer shutdown. How can it be the Schumer shutdown when the Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate?” Acosta complained.

 

 

Thankfully, Mulvaney didn’t mince words in schooling Acosta, citing basic Senate rules about needing 60 votes to pass budgetary measures (such as continuing resolutions):

MULVANEY: Come on, you know the answer to that as well as anybody. I mean, I have to laugh when people say that, oh, we control the House and the Senate and the White House.

ACOSTA: You do.

MULVANEY: Why can't you get this done? You any as well as anybody it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass appropriations bill, right? You know that. 

ACOSTA: I know that but — 

MULVANEY: So you only have 51 votes in the Senate, then you have to have Democrat support in order to keep the government to fund the government. So, that's the answer to your question. 

Acosta tried to save face by blaming the President for not wanting to go along with the Democratic pleas to save the illegal immigrants known as DREAMers. Referring to last week’s publicized White House meeting, Acosta fretted how that “seemed to be a fairly productive meeting and then the whole process got blown up and if I may, it seems that the whole process was blown up by the President's comments.”

The CNN hack then lobbied Mulvaney to just go along with the Democrats and DREAMers so we can move on, but the former conservative South Carolina congressman gave Acosta a history lesson:

[W]hen Republicans tried to add a discussion about ObamaCare to the funding process in 2013, we were accused by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer of inserting a non-fiscal — a non-financial issue into the spending process in order to shut the government down. How is that not exactly what is happening today? There is no reason that you have to deal with DACA this week. There’s no reason to deal with DACA before...the middle of February. DACA doesn't expire until March 5th. This is purely an attempt by the Senate Democrats, led by Mr. Schumer, it’s why we call it the Schumer shutdown, to try and get a shutdown they think this President gets blamed for. 

Despite the fact that White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short later noted that the bipartisan group of Senators working on a DREAMer deal haven’t produced concrete legislation yet, Acosta used his post-briefing live shot on CNN to resume his Friday meltdown:

Well, shutdowns are a tough sale...and it sounds like, at this point, this White House is bracing for the likelihood that this government is going to shut down. You heard during this briefing with the legislative affairs director, Marc Short and the director of Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney — the director Mick Mulvaney saying this is the Schumer shutdown and they're trying to make the case that, well, because they need Democratic votes in the Senate to go along with what was passed in the House that this is somehow the responsibility of Democrats. That's just going to be a hard sell when you have Republicans in charge of the White House, the House and the Senate, and you've been talking about that for some time. 

Acosta reiterated his tacit opinion that Trump should be to blame for the government shutdown over his “s***hole countries” line and quipped that Mulvaney promised “a kinder, gentler shutdown” in which “[t]he National Parks are going to be open, the trash may not get picked up but you can still visit your National Park.”

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s At This Hour on January 18:

CNN’s At This Hour
January 19, 2018
11:24 a.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: I was going to ask about your comment at the beginning of this, you said it is the Schumer shutdown. How can it be the Schumer shutdown when the Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate? 

MICK MULVANEY: Come on, you know the answer to that as well as anybody. I mean, I have to laugh when people say that, oh, we control the House and the Senate and the White House.

ACOSTA: You do.

MULVANEY: Why can't you get this done? You any as well as anybody it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass appropriations bill, right? You know that. 

ACOSTA: I know that but — 

MULVANEY: So you only have 51 votes in the Senate, then you have to have Democrat support in order to keep the government to fund the government. So, that's the answer to your question. 

ACOSTA: The President asked Congress to come up with a solution for the DREAMers. Congress was in the room, members of Congress were in the room with the President last week. It seemed to be a fairly productive meeting and then the whole process got blown up —

MULVANEY; We’re not — when Republicans tried to —

ACOSTA: — and if I may, it seems that the whole process was blown up by the President's comments. And so why keep the Democrats and the DREAMers and get out of this?

MULVANEY: — when Republicans tried to add a discussion about ObamaCare to the funding process in 2013, we were accused by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer of inserting a non-fiscal — a non-financial issue into the spending process in order to shut the government down. How is that not exactly what is happening today? There is no reason that you have to deal with DACA this week. There’s no reason to deal with DACA before the end of February — excuse me, the middle of February. DACA doesn't expire until March 5th. This is purely an attempt by the Senate Democrats, led by Mr. Schumer, it’s why we call it the Schumer shutdown, to try and get a shutdown they think this President gets blamed for. 

AYESHA RASCOE: You’re saying that you need Democrats support in the Senate —

MULVANEY: We got it in the House.

RASCOE: — so are there any concessions that this White House is willing to make to try to get support from those Democrats that you need? 

MULVANEY: Again, go back to what I said at the opening, they don't oppose anything in there. They support CHIP. In fact, every member of the Financial Subcommittee or something — a Democrat has voted for this exact CHIP extension, right?: They don't want the Cadillac tax to go into place. They’ve always supported clean CRs. Why would you have to — those are concessions. Ordinarily, you would just simply put up a clean CR, let them vote it, and, again, it worked in the House, several Democrats who voted for it. 

(....)

MARC SHORT: And, Jim, back to your question, the reality is there is no legislation for them to pull up. They say there is this Flake-Durbin-Graham proposal. There is not legislation to vote on. So, when they say we need to have DACA solved before you do a continuing resolution to keep the government open, there isn't actually a bill for them to even vote on, which I think shows that this is really about politics and not really about policy.

(....)

BRIANNA KEILAR: Okay, Jim, you were there. You asked a question and the budget director said it is Democrats, it takes 60 votes, it requires Democrats in the Senate. What did you think of that whole show we just witnessed? 

ACOSTA: Well, shutdowns are a tough sale, Brianna, and it sounds like, at this point, this White House is bracing for the likelihood that this government is going to shut down. You heard during this briefing with the legislative affairs director, Marc Short and the director of Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney — the director Mick Mulvaney saying this is the Schumer shutdown and they're trying to make the case that, well, because they need Democratic votes in the Senate to go along with what was passed in the House that this is somehow the responsibility of Democrats. That's just going to be a hard sell when you have Republicans in charge of the White House, the House and the Senate, and you've been talking about that for some time. I thought it was interesting to note that when I asked the question about DACA, the fix for the DREAMers, that Marc Short said that there was no legislative vehicle to get that accomplished. As you know, there has been a gang of six working on such a legislative vehicle, some kind of legislation to make that happen. It just seems at this point that there is a refusal on the Republican side to allow that to be brought into this process and I think what they're dealing with is at this point, Brianna, is just sort of the fallout of what happened last week when the President essentially blew up this process. He had a very productive meeting over her at the White House with members of congress from both parties and then a couple of days later there was that very fiery meeting that happened behind closed doors where the President made some pretty offensive remarks and ever since then, there just has not been very much progress from a bipartisan basis. And so, you heard Mick Mulvaney coming here and saying listen, we're making this a kinder, gentler shutdown. The National Parks are going to be open, the trash may not get picked up but you can still visit your National Park. People are going to go to work — federal workers are going to go to work but they won't get paid. The question is how long can that drag on. 


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