Trump, Congressional Leaders Meeting on US Spending Issues

08 Décembre, 2017, 01:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Architect of the Capitol

The Senate seemed ready to follow. Their money runs out at midnight Friday without approval of fresh funding.

The drama comes as House and Senate negotiators are seeking to finalize a Republican tax overhaul that would represent a crowning legislative achievement for the GOP in a year otherwise devoid of them.

President Donald Trump says a government shutdown "could happen" Saturday, and he is blaming it on Democrats' stance on immigration.

Trump, in a Twitter remark, contended a week ago that Schumer and Pelosi "want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes".

President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with Congressional leadership including House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen.

This time, the White House followed up with a more accommodating statement that praised Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"I'd really like to know what you expect to accomplish in the next two weeks when we haven't been able to accomplish anything in the last two months", said Representative Nita M. Lowey of NY, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Later, the White House issued another statement indicating Trump would sign the two-week spending extension.

Top Republicans are adamant about not sparking a federal shutdown that would deal the latest blow to a party that has strained all year to show it can govern effectively.

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In addition to a simple date change CR, this resolution provides for a change in the way that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) emergency shortfall funds are distributed to states until December 31, 2017, so that no state's CHIP funding is depleted during the month of December.

Meadows said the Freedom Caucus had not taken a final position on whether it will back the short-term bill, but he and several others stopped short of saying they'd oppose it.

"We're hopeful that in the next few hours we'll be able to figure out a strategy where we don't have to rely on any Democrats to make this work, and I think that's what we're all about", said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus.

The roughly 30-member caucus has been trying to win promises from leaders of spending curbs and quick passage of a full-year defense budget in exchange for backing the short-term bill.

Without support from many of them, Republicans would need votes from Democrats to push the temporary spending measure through the House, and Democrats have not said what they will do.

While many Democrats seemed likely to oppose the measure, enough were expected to support it in the Senate to allow its passage there. They know they'd still have leverage on subsequent bills needed to keep the government running.

"It could happen", Trump said about a potential shutdown before a White House Cabinet meeting, pointing to Democratic demands on immigration policy.

Republicans generally favor more money for defense programs, while Democrats often demand equal increases for domestic social programs. Democrats are also expected to bring up a potential deal on immigration that would include protections for at least 790,000 "dreamers", immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children.

AP reporters Andrew Taylor and Ken Thomas contributed.

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