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Politics of shutdown drama bad for everyone, says former Bush aide

  • Americans are frustrated with both Republicans and Democrats, and the drama over a potential government shutdown certainly isn't helping, Sara Fagen said.
  • Congress must come to an agreement by midnight Friday to avoid a shutdown.
  • "It's a reason why you see independent registration in this country near nearly a 70-year high," she said. "The politics of this is bad for everybody."

Americans are frustrated with both Republicans and Democrats, and the drama over a potential government shutdown certainly isn't helping, a former senior aide to President George W. Bush told CNBC on Friday.

Congress must come to an agreement by midnight Friday to avoid a shutdown.

"It's a reason why you see independent registration in this country near nearly a 70-year high," Sara Fagen said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"The politics of this is bad for everybody."

Rain falls outside the U.S. Capitol before President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, U.S. February 28, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

On Friday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump at the White House about a possible deal. After the meeting, Schumer said, "We made some progress." However, he said there were still disagreements and that discussions will continue.

The House, with nearly all Republican votes, passed a measure Thursday night that would fund the government through Feb. 16. It would also reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program and delay some Affordable Care Act taxes.

However, as it stood Friday afternoon, the bill appeared doomed in the Senate if a vote was taken later in the day, as expected.

Fagen, a partner at DDC Advocacy and a CNBC contributor, believes a shutdown is worse for the Democrats in part because Republicans were able to get a bill through the House.

And she thinks Schumer's visit to the Oval Office raises the stakes for Democrats if he can't get a deal done.

"The Republicans have done a pretty effective job of making sure that Americans know that Chuck Schumer is the guy standing in the way," she said.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.