Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump warns of government shutdown threat ahead of meeting with lawmakers

Trump warns of government shutdown threat ahead of meeting with lawmakers

The short-term legislation is created to give bargainers more time to address remaining disputes over spending levels and other issues that have been folded into the year-end mix, including immigration and health care.

Still, they may be willing to agree to the two-week bill if defense spending is dealt with separately in the next round of budget talks.

"It's always the load-up-the-Christmas-tree play, go get Democrat votes, bust the budget caps", Brat said of past spending showdowns when Democratic votes were needed.

Republicans want to add as much as tens of billions of dollars to military spending this year and impose new work requirements for some recipients of Medicaid benefits, the healthcare program for the poor and disabled.

Trump claimed the minority party wants illegal immigrants "pouring into our country" and they'll close the government's doors during the holiday season to keep the nation's porous borders open.

He said the White House wants a deal that covers spending for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Republican leaders have floated a $54 billion boost in defense next year and a $37 billion boost in nondefense spending; Democrats have thus far demanded equivalent increases for both.

The U.S. Congress sent President Donald Trump a two-week extension of federal funding that averts a government shutdown this week but defers contentious decisions on spending on defense and domestic programs.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer joined Trump and Republican congressional leaders for the talks after canceling a similarly planned meeting last week when the president posted a note on Twitter attacking their policy positions.

Republicans have majorities in both chambers of Congress, but they can not pass spending bills alone.

Democrats hope to use their leverage in the year-end budget battle to win concessions on spending, immigration and other issues. "You'll see when we bring the bill to the floor".

Walker said Ryan also committed to seek to include disaster relief spending in the December 22 spending bill, as well as an effort to cut $190 billion in entitlement spending over 10 years through "some kind of work requirement for capable-bodied adults with no dependents".

The two Democrats said in a statement that the meeting on Thursday was productive but nothing specific had been agreed.

The House has passed a bill to prevent a government shutdown this weekend.

Fourteen Democrats voted for the measure and 18 Republicans voted "no".

In a moment of bipartisanship, money was made available in the two-week spending bill to several states that are running out of funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

That widely popular program provides medical care to more than eight million children.

"I think he was just reflecting what conversations he had heard from them, but that. wasn't meant to signal: this is an endorsement of raising the corporate rate", he said.

The children's health care issue is among the year-end items where negotiations have gone positively, and aides say a long-term agreement is almost in hand.

All four House members from Arkansas voted for the stopgap measure, but Rep. Steve Womack said he was "disappointed" in the way Congress has handled the budget process. "I am hopeful this resolution will give Congress time to establish a path forward to fund the government and avoid a shutdown".

While the House potentially could pass upcoming spending bills without any Democratic support, that tactic would not work in the Senate where procedural rules give Democrats bargaining power.

In a statement, French Hill, a Republican from Little Rock, said the House isn't to blame for the budgetary problems.

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has been negotiating with GOP leadership, told USA TODAY he was pushing for a separate bill because military funding was one of the areas of bipartisan consensus.

"I have no plans to go anywhere", he said.

Information for this article was contributed by Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post; by Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram of The Associated Press; by Erik Wasson, Anna Edgerton, Roxana Tiron, Jack Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News; and by Frank E. Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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