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Paul Ryan suggests Democrats would be blamed if the government shuts down

Last Updated Jan 17, 2018 10:38 AM EST

Speaker Paul Ryan suggested Wednesday that Democrats would be blamed if the government were to shut down this weekend.

"I feel that it makes no sense for Democrats to bring this to a shutdown," the Wisconsin Republican said at a press conference with GOP leadership.

"I hope cool heads will hopefully prevail on this thing," he said, referring to the short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), that Republicans have proposed to extend funding and avoid a shutdown.

Congress must pass a new funding bill by Friday night or the government will shut down Saturday.

Democrats are trying to tie an immigration deal that would protect so-called "Dreamers" and make permanent the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to a funding package but Republicans want the two issues dealt with separately.

Ryan reiterated that Republicans are negotiating over DACA "in earnest" and they want to see "balanced" solution that includes border security measures. He added that a deal to lift spending caps with Democrats is "very, very close," but said that Democrats are "holding out" on the agreement because of the immigration talks.

"It's got to be bipartisan and the president has to support this," Ryan said about an immigration deal.

At this point, it's unclear if GOP leaders will have the votes for a CR. The chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, said Tuesday night that many of the group's members don't support the bill presented by leadership -- enough that he said there aren't 218 Republican votes in favor of the current plan. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.