Trump, Democrats to meet to avert government shutdown


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.

The Oval Office sit-down will come after Pelosi of California and Schumer of NY pulled out of a planned meeting on November 28 after Trump tweeted, "I don't see a deal!"

Later, the White House issued another statement indicating Trump would sign the two-week spending extension and laying out its goals for upcoming budget bargaining.

"Democrats are really looking at something very risky for our country", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump didn't rule out the possibility of a government shutdown.

While many Democrats seemed likely to oppose the short-term bill, enough were expected to support it in the Senate to allow its passage there.

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"Democrats are hopeful the president will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open", she wrote.

As a condition of backing new spending, many Democrats have demanded legislative protections for the almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children.

Democrats have been using their leverage to insist on spending boosts for health care, infrastructure and other domestic programs that would match increases Republicans want for defense.

Meadows said his group had not taken a final position on whether it will back the short-term bill, but he and several other conservatives stopped short of saying they would oppose it. They want voters riveted on the party's almost $1.5 trillion tax bill, the paramount priority for them and Trump.

"They have never seen anything like this community so I think a lot of very good things are going to happen and they are going to happen very fast", the president said.

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.

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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.

In reality, the conference will involve tough negotiations over differences in the two versions of the tax bill that can be approved by both chambers. That would give bargainers time to work through their disagreements, but they will need Democratic votes to succeed.

Later, he and conservative leader Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, met with top House Republicans and said they were seeking a strategy to reduce Democrats' budget leverage by quickly approving a full-year budget for the military.

Earlier in the day, Meadows told reporters that conservatives were not keen on creating any "distractions" before the tax legislation becomes law.

That, however, is not an issue impacting current budget talks.

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

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