Pelosi, Schumer Say Trump Has Asked for New Meeting

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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.

A temporary spending bill passed by Congress is due to run out on Friday. We want to have a great, handsome crime-free country, ' Trump said during a cabinet meeting. 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.

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.

That's from top lawmakers and the White House. They want voters riveted on the party's almost $1.5 trillion tax bill, the paramount priority for them and Trump.

But Trump unexpectedly tossed a hand grenade into the mix when he told reporters that a shutdown "could happen" and blamed Democrats.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRight scrambles GOP budget strategy Dem rep Moulton calls on Franken to resign Mark Mellman: History's judgment MORE fired back at President Trump Wednesday after he said a government shutdown "could happen" on Saturday and that Democrats would be to blame.

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- President Donald Trump on Wednesday again raised the possibility of a USA government shutdown - blaming Democrats for that possible outcome - one day before he is due to host Republican and Democratic congressional leaders for talks on spending bills.

Conservative leaders say they are concerned that GOP leaders may use the hoopla surrounding a final vote on the tax bill to obscure a separate vote on spending legislation that could include numerous Democratic priorities.

With the budget chafing under spending caps imposed by a 2011 bipartisan budget deal, Democrats want defense and domestic programs to get equal funding increases.

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".

Democrats are also seeking an agreement to extend protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrived in the USA illegally as children.

Late on Wednesday, a bill advanced in the House of Representatives to extend current federal funding through December 22, with the chamber expected to take up the bill on Thursday.

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"We've got to get across the finish line on tax reform, any distraction from that is a problem, and so the general consensus of most of our members is we want to talk to leadership and make sure that we've got tax reform on the right track, and that may allow for greater flexibility on some of the spending issues". Asked if a federal shutdown would be a problem, he said, "Of course".

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 roughly 30-member caucus has been trying to win promises of tight budget curbs and other concessions from leaders in exchange for backing the short-term bill.

House and Senate Republicans are proposing a two-week stopgap spending bill.

Democratic votes for any budget measure will be crucial in the Senate, where Republicans by themselves lack the 60 votes needed to approve the legislation. That widely popular program helps provide medical care to more than 8 million children.

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