Trump warns of government shutdown threat ahead of meeting with lawmakers

Take Two: Schumer, Pelosi Accept Trump's Invitation to Talk Budget

Pelosi, Schumer Say Trump Has Asked for New Meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump will face off with Democratic leaders of Congress on Thursday in a high-stakes White House meeting meant to bridge differences over a spending bill and prevent a government shutdown.

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have scheduled a summit to begin sorting out their budget differences.

Trump and Congress are facing a deadline of Friday at midnight to pass fresh spending legislation.

The two-week spending measure is aimed at giving both parties' bargainers more time to reach longer-term budget decisions.

Democrats and some Republicans are also demanding a plan to protect immigrants who arrived illegally in the U.S.as children. Trump ended safeguards against deportation three months ago but has expressed an openness to restoring them.

"President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown", Pelosi tweeted. He blamed Democrats, saying they want "illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime". "We don't want to have that".

"No one wants a shutdown, including Freedom Caucus members", Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told reporters.

Hours before Trump and Capitol Hill leaders were to hold a budget meeting last Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., abruptly called off the session. They have accepted the president's invitation to talk Thursday about the budget and how to avoid a government shutdown. "We hope the President will go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can't be reached beforehand".

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Talks with Schumer and Pelosi, whom Trump has referred to as "Chuck and Nancy", could be the start of a protracted blame game. He said, for example, that the USA lost about $71 billion in trade deficit with Mexico previous year and $17 billion with Canada. Complicating the search for a pact are disputes over immigration, health and other issues folded into the year-end mix.

"We don't want to have radical Islamic terrorism in this country", Trump said in the AP report.

Trump's warning came as some of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives pushed for increases in military spending along with either a freeze or reduction in domestic programs.

Asked if a shutdown would be a distraction, he said, "Of course".

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. That's from top lawmakers and the White House. It was unclear how Republicans could prevent Senate Democrats from blocking such a move.

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.

House Republican leaders are hoping to make a show of strength this week by demonstrating they could pass an extension of funding till December 22 with Republican votes alone, but the Freedom Caucus's demands have complicated that effort.

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