WH budget meeting planned with Trump, congressional leaders

Lester Mason
December 8, 2017

He called keeping the government running "just basic governing". Without funding, employees are put on furlough, national monuments, parks and attractions must close, and everyday federal workers with families ultimately pay the price for partisan politics.

'Look, there's not going to be a government shutdown. During the October 2013 shutdown, the economy suffered tens of billions of dollars worth of damage in lost wages, lost revenues, and lost economic output. Putting people's lives on the line for partisan gains is not why lawmakers are elected to Congress.

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.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said they've agreed to meet on Thursday with President Donald Trump and Republican Congressional leaders to discuss a year-end spending deal as a possible government shutdown looms as early as Saturday.

"It could happen", he said referring to the impending shutdown. "The Democrats are really looking at something that is very risky to our country". Trump said that because Democrats skipped that meeting, they would be blamed for any government shutdown.

"They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bringing with them crime", Trump continued. Tremendous amounts of crime.

Pelosi has echoed the sentiment, and said last week "we want to keep government open". We want to have a great, attractive crime-free country, ' Trump said during a cabinet meeting.

Democrats want to include a slew of legislative priorities in the funding bill, including codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obamacare stabilization package, and long-term funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. By the very definition of the program, DACA recipients can not be criminals, so Trump's remarks make little sense. While many Democrats also support bolstering defense, they insist on raising spending on non-defense programs too. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said she expected Democrats to vote for the government funding bill this week, telling Reuters in an interview that while it "is important to all of us" to take care of the Dreamers, "I don't think we should shut the government down". And those on the left have demanded "parity"- namely, equivalent increases for defense and non-defense priories in other agencies - in order to win their votes. Republican leaders and Freedom Caucus principals had several meetings Wednesday, with aides and members describing the talks as a positive step to moving forward on the two-week measure.

Democrats have a rare chance to win major concessions in a US Congress they do not control by taking advantage of a battle within the Republican Party over keeping the government open. That's not to say Republicans need Democratic votes outright; they only need them if they can't come to an internal agreement among themselves. Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader, are calculating that voters' wrath would rain down on Republicans if the government lights go out.

Republican lawmakers are asking for an extension, and filed a two-week stopgap measure to buy more time for negotiations, but the new Dec 22 deadline won't be approved without a vote in Congress this week.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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