Trump warns government shutdown is possible

Pauline Gross
December 8, 2017

In response, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted: "President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown".

Pelosi said Democrats have no interest in a government shutdown, but they can't support the GOP's continuing resolution because it omits a long list of provisions the Democrats consider must-pass this year, including protections for so-called Dreamers and funding for the opioid crisis, hurricane and wildfire relief, veterans issues and pension protections ... He called keeping the government running "just basic governing". For Trump, the complex, and very public, battle over the shutdown will also be a demonstration of his ability to deliver on a central 2016 campaign promise of adding billions of dollars to the USA military budget.

U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer will join Trump and Republican congressional leaders for talks after canceling a similarly planned meeting last week when the president posted a note on Twitter attacking their policy positions. 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". It was unclear how Republicans could prevent Senate Democrats from blocking such a move.

House conservatives had raised objections to the current plan to extend funding until December 22 before reaching a longer-term deal because they worry the pressure to leave town right before Christmas will give Democrats leverage to get more of their priorities included in a spending bill at that time. That sets up a possible showdown over immigration and defense spending as Congress is trying to leave town for the holidays.

To jumpstart that negotiating, Trump and congressional leaders agreed to meet Thursday an attempt to reach agreements.

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.

The legislation will include some short-term help for states running out of money to finance a health insurance program for lower-income children.

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Democrats have opposed his plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico, but have expressed a willingness to fund other border security measures.

Given the calendar and the amount of time needed to finalize a broad spending package, another stopgap spending measure will be needed just before Christmas.

Republicans have demands, too.

Trump has a meeting with senior leaders of both parties at the White House on Thursday to discuss a long-term spending bill that incorporates measures both sides want. They are seeking an increase in defense spending and relief from funding caps put in place by the Budget Control Act in 2011. "The number one priority for our country is to make certain we protect this Constitution and our way of life, and we've got great bipartisan support".

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the leadership was "receiving an update on our military by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis".

The Wisconsin Republican says, "I feel good where we are".

Other reports by GizPress

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