Rep. Gutierrez: 'I'm not blocking any budget bill'

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., speaks to Sinclair Broadcast Group on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., is dismissing reports he would risk a government shutdown to get action on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

President Donald Trump's administration announced last month it would phase out DACA, an Obama-era program that shields hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. Brought to the U.S. illegally as children by their parents, these "Dreamers" are also able to work in the country legally through the program.

Politico reported in early September that Gutierrez threatened to shut down the government in December if Congress fails to adopt protections for Dreamers, saying, "We will shut it down or let Republicans keep it open with their own votes."

On Thursday, Gutierrez told Sinclair Broadcast Group he wouldn't stand in the way of a bipartisan government funding agreement.

"I'm not blocking any budget bill," he said. "If the Republicans decide that they want a Republican budget -- I came here to represent another point of view."

"If you want a bipartisan budget, then you'll get my help," he continued. "But the budget must reflect my values and the values of the immense majority of the American public, which says put Dreamers in a safe place."

Gutierrez concluded, "You don't have a budget that reflects mine? Then guess what? Knock yourself out. You need to gather 218 votes. Oh, you don't have 218 Republicans for a budget? That's your problem. You wanna resolve that problem? Solve my problem."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off