Democrats threaten government shutdown if Dreamers are not protected

Trump's chief of staff John Kelly said the previous bipartisan immigration deal "fell short."
2:38 | 01/18/18

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Transcript for Democrats threaten government shutdown if Dreamers are not protected
We're going to turn next here to that showdown on capitol hill. Will be there a government shutdown shutdown? Tonight, where does the president stand, after saying just nine days ago and inviting cameras in as he met with Republicans and Democrats that he was ready for a deal. Here's ABC's Mary Bruce on the hill tonight. Reporter: President trump on the hill today, as fears mount that a government shutdown is right around the corner. What's your message to the dreamers? We're working on it. We're working on it. Reporter: Democrats are threatening a shutdown if congress doesn't act to protect the dreamers. The nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought here as children. On the hill, dreamers protesting in tears. At least 82 arrested. The white house blames Democrats for the stalled talks. But Republican leader Mitch Mcconnell today pointed the finger directly at the president. I'm looking for something that president trump supports. As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels. Reporter: Just nine days ago, trump put in cameras to witness him negotiating with Republicans and Democrats. What about a clean DACA bill now with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure? I have no problem -- I think that's basically what he's saying. Reporter: Republicans quickly talked him out of that, and the president pledged to sign whatever lawmakers could agree to. If they come to me with things that I'm not in love with, I'm going to do it, because I respect them. Reporter: But just two days later, the president rejected a bipartisan proposal. Today, calling it horrible and very, very weak. Republican senator Lindsey graham says the president's staff is misleading him. What we need to do better is a reliable partner at the white house. Reporter: We asked the president's chief of staff. Lawmakers are suggesting you gave the president bad advice on immigration on the previous deal that was on the table. Ah -- the -- that deal that came over was supposed to be two things. Bipartisan and both sides of the hill. It fell short of what he was certainly looking for. Our Mary Bruce with the chief of staff there. And Mary's live up on the hill tonight. With immigration talks stalled now. Republican lawmakers are trying to work with Democrats on other key issues to avoid a shutdown in a matter of days. But will it be enough? Reporter: Republicans are pushing for a short-term funding fix, another short-term fix. But Democrats are hoping to include that funding for dreamers, they're hoping to get Democrats onboard by including more money for the children's health insurance program, extending that for another six years, but it's not clear,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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