Trump says government shutdown possible

Nancy Pelosi

Trump says government shutdown possible

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.

Precisely how to reauthorize the CHIP program is only one of a number of issues that have yet to be resolved by congressional leaders, who met Thursday afternoon with President Donald Trump to begin talks on the longer-term bill, known as a continuing resolution. He blamed Democrats, saying they want "illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime".

The caucus has wanted the spending bill to run an additional week.

But there are still sticking points among Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate, and time is running short.

Increasingly confident House leaders planned a Thursday vote on a bill that would keep federal agencies functioning through December 22, and Senate approval was expected to follow.

With Senate passage also considered likely, the remarks by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., seemed to erase any doubt that Congress would approve legislation keeping federal agencies afloat through December 22.

Despite incendiary words from President Trump, Congress seemed on track Wednesday to approving legislation that would avert a partial government shutdown over the weekend as all sides seemed ready to avert a confrontation - for now. Pelosi and Schumer did not attend a previously scheduled meeting with Trump last week after he said on Twitter that he did not expect to reach a deal with the Democratic leaders.

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.

"It could happen", Trump said about a shutdown.

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

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

For Republicans, a shutdown would put a humiliating bookend on a year in which they've controlled the White House and Congress with little to show for it.

Conservative leaders say they are concerned that GOP leaders may use the hoopla surrounding a final vote on the tax bill to obscure a separate vote on spending legislation that could include numerous Democratic priorities.

Pelosi said she hoped to "make progress" on a funding deal as well as on funding to fight opioid addiction, money for veterans and a reauthorization of the expired child health insurance program. CHIP, which has nearly always been a bipartisan priority, expired over two months ago, but Congressional Republicans continued to play games with this vital program that helps the most vulnerable children in our society ... The conservatives also want Republican leaders to promise they won't give in to Democratic demands that caps on defense and non-defense spending be raised in tandem.

Republicans generally favor more money for defense programs, while Democrats often demand equal increases for domestic social programs.

Democrats are seeking to re-instate an Obama-era immigration policy to block deportation of children of parents who came into the country illegally.

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