Trump, Democrats to meet to avert government shutdown

The race to fund the government is

Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images John Barrasso Mitch McConnell

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have scheduled a summit to begin sorting out their budget differences, top lawmakers and the White House said Monday, as a clash that could produce a partial government shutdown by the weekend hung in the balance.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were supposed to meet with Trump last week, but decided not to attend after a tweet in which the president said he didn't "see a deal" on multiple issues.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said Sunday on ABC's This Week program that there would be no government shutdown, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Republicans will need the support of Democrats to get the bill through the Senate and potentially the House, where conservatives are anxious that an end-of-the-year bill will get loaded down with Democratic priorities. Some Republicans want a large boost in the defense cap, and Democrats are demanding an equal increase in non-defense spending.

House and Senate leadership favor passing a two-week short-term spending bill before the holiday break. "We Democrats are doing what we've done before and that is push for parity". The cancellation came after Trump took to Twitter to vilify their stances on taxes, immigration and crime and say he saw no prospects for an agreement, and the standoff has exacerbated bitter feelings on both sides.

The Freedom Caucus on Monday night threatened to block progress on President Donald Trump's tax bill unless the group gets support to extend the spending measure to December 30.

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US President Donald Trump turns to House Speaker Paul Ryan (3L) as he gathers with Congressional Republicans in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, US, May 4, 2017. "We have to provide funding for community health centers and CHIP, as well as relief for the millions of Americans still reeling from natural disasters". Democrats are seeking more funding for domestic priorities and permanent legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the children.

He noted that he does not think the federal government would shut down over Congress' failure to address the issue over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program since lawmakers have until March to come up with a plan to address DACA. There are also demands for money for battling opioid abuse.

"We´re glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting", Schumer and Pelosi said.

For Republicans, such an agreement would unlock a huge budget increase for the Pentagon - perhaps $70 billion for the 2018 fiscal year alone.

The Senate approved its near $1.5 trillion tax legislation before dawn Saturday, while the House passed a similar measure in November.

Some conservatives said they're being strong-armed by leaders.

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