Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump warns government shutdown is possible

Trump warns government shutdown is possible

With money for federal agencies running out at midnight Friday, Republican leaders plan to push a bill through Congress this week financing the government through December 22. Even so, top Republicans expressed confidence that they'd approve the short-term measure this week, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., saying, "We will pass it before the end of the week". "The Democrats are really looking at something that is very unsafe to our country. We want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country".

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".

The two-week spending measure is aimed at giving both parties' bargainers more time to reach longer-term budget decisions. 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, bring with them crime, tremendous amounts of drugs.

"The only one at the moment who's flirted with a shutdown is President Trump, who tweeted earlier this year that 'we could use a good shutdown to fix the mess, '" Schumer said.

Trump had been supportive of a legislative solution to the immigrants' plight but says he wants to couple permission for them to stay with a total overhaul of the system.

The Democrats tweeted their hope that the president will "go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can't be reached beforehand".

Responding to Trump's statement on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement did not indicate Democrats would be backing out of Thursday's meeting.

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina says his group will likely provide leaders with the needed votes. They want voters riveted on the party's almost $1.5 trillion tax bill, the paramount priority for them and Trump.

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.

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.

The Senate approved its near $1.5 trillion tax legislation before dawn Saturday, while the House passed a similar measure in November. But the measure is expected to pass the House and move to the Senate. It is unclear how that strategy would work, since Republicans control the Senate 52-48 and will need at least eight Democratic votes to pass any spending legislation.

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. While Democrats have opposed that ban, the issue hasn't appeared to be part of the budget talks.

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

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