Trump, Democrats to meet to avert government shutdown


"It could happen", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, in response to a reporter's question about the Friday deadline for a spending bill to fund the government. Trump said that because Democrats skipped that meeting, they would be blamed for any government shutdown.

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.

"The Democrats are really looking at something that could be very unsafe for our country", Trump said. "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, bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime".

"They have never seen anything like this community so I think a lot of very good things are going to happen and they are going to happen very fast", the president said.

Their bid is likely to be rejected by Democrats, who make up a minority in Congress, and could further complicate months of behind-the-scenes negotiations by congressional leaders aimed at figuring out government spending through the end of this fiscal year on September 30, 2018.

After a months long detente during which they worked alongside House leaders to advance Republican health care and tax bills, the hard-liners in the Freedom Caucus have reasserted their presence this week as Friday's shutdown deadline looms.

The big four - McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Nancy Pelosi - will be at the White House tomorrow for a discussion with Trump about an immigration compromise.

The infighting came as Republican congressional leaders labored to demonstrate that they can govern and spare the country the chaos of a government shutdown at Christmas time that likely would not sit well with voters.

"If that happens, I would absolutely blame the Democrats", he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell completely ruled it out on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) leaves following the weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2017. Conservatives are asking for a commitment leadership does not believe it can give them: a promise to "hold the line" and refuse Senate Democrats' demands for increased spending on non-defense programs. But they will need some Democratic support to get the spending bill past Senate procedural hurdles that require 60 votes, since there are only 52 Republicans in the 100-member chamber. Passing a temporary budget before then would keep all areas of the government operating.

Meadows backed off that proposal Wednesday: "I don't know that the December 30 deadline is as much the issue now as it is about breaking this defense and nondefense wall".

If that measure clears the House and Senate, as expected, major fights are in the offing over the next funding bill, which could fund the government until sometime in January.

But Republicans have said they will not include a fix for DACA in the spending bill, arguing the issue should be handled separately.

That, however, is not an issue impacting current budget talks.

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