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Trump says government shutdown possible
07 December 2017, 03:08 | Opal Carroll
Trump, Democrats to meet to avert government shutdown
Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and the top congressional Republicans plan to meet with Trump at the White House on Thursday. They want voters riveted on the party's almost $1.5 trillion tax bill, the paramount priority for them and Trump. "We want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country".
Meadows and fellow Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said they are seeking to make it as hard as possible for Democrats to oppose spending bills that hike spending on the military but not on other domestic programs.
The Republican-controlled House is expected to vote on Thursday on a bill that would keep the government open at current spending levels through December 22 while lawmakers negotiate a longer-term solution.
President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that a government shutdown was possible this weekend because Democrats were demanding to have "illegal immigrants pouring into our country", tossing incendiary rhetoric onto a partisan showdown that had been showing signs of easing. They know they'd still have leverage on subsequent bills needed to keep the government running.
But Trump unexpectedly tossed a hand grenade into the mix when he told reporters that a shutdown "could happen" and blamed Democrats.
The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. (2000 GMT).
"We´re glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting", Schumer and Pelosi said.
Trump in turn called the Democrats "all talk" and "no action" and said he would blame Schumer and Pelosi if the government shuts down.
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. Also on the agenda would be other year-end matters, including protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children, hurricane disaster aid and an extension of the expired Children's Health Insurance Program. Some Republicans want a large boost in the defense cap, and Democrats are demanding an equal increase in non-defense spending.
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. It was unclear how Republicans could prevent Senate Democrats from blocking such a move.
After a monthslong detente during which they worked alongside House leaders to advance Republican health care and tax bills, the hard-liners in the Freedom Caucus have reasserted their presence this week as Friday's shutdown deadline looms.
Leaders of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus emerged from meetings Wednesday morning with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., saying they had not yet decided whether the group's three dozen members would back the two-week stopgap favored by the GOP leaders.
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