Trump to meet with Democrats, GOP for budget talks

Rep. Mark Meadows R-N.C. chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus arrives for a closed-door strategy session with House Republicans as the deadline looms to pass a spending bill to fund the government by week's end on Capitol Hill in Washingto

Democrats have the ability to demand changes in the spending bills because Republicans do not have enough Senate votes to block a Democratic filibuster in that chamber.

They want GOP leaders to take a firmer stance in negotiations with Democrats - including opposing efforts to link an increase in defense spending, supported by most Republicans, to an increase in nondefense spending, favored by Democrats.

Schumer and Pelosi on Monday listed that program among their priorities, which also included the opioid crisis, pension plans, rural infrastructure and protection for young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, known as "Dreamers". Trump ended safeguards against deportation three months ago but has expressed an openness to restoring them.

President Donald Trump raised the possibility of a government shutdown ahead of a meeting with Democrats for a second consecutive week on Wednesday, even as tensions on Capitol Hill appeared to diminish after hard-line House conservatives backed off plans to oppose a short-term stopgap. "They want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don't want in our country, they want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime". "I want to see Senate action, and I think they owe it to the House to show us those next steps". "We want to have a great, attractive crime-free country".

The big four - McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Nancy Pelosi - will be at the White House tomorrow for a discussion with Trump about an immigration compromise.

"President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown", she wrote. "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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It was unclear what Trump was referring to. It said money for the military including missile defense and security along the border with Mexico "must be prioritized in a long-term funding agreement".

Lawmakers in the Democratic Party are threatening to let federal spending authority lapse if Trump denies illegal immigrants who came to the country as children safe haven. While Democrats have opposed that ban, the issue hasn't appeared to be part of the budget talks.

"There is a better chance of going to the 30th than the 22nd, but no commitment", Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters. Asked if a federal shutdown would be a problem, he said, "Of course".

While GOP leaders and conservatives say they are both eager to avoid a "distraction" that might derail tax reform legislation, they're struggling to reach a truce to avoid a government shutdown.

The House Republican leadership agreed to consider the December 30 date and talk to the Senate leadership about it, a House Republican leadership aide said. I'm asking: "what have you done the last eight?" said the Georgia Republican, who is close with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Democrats have leverage because a bill needs 60 votes in the Senate to pass. Check back for more updates.

"This bill - one without any controversial policy riders - will continue government funding and give the House and Senate time to complete their work on a long-term solution", McConnell said in the statement.

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