Trump faces off with Dems over potential govt shutdown… Schumer walks tightrope… Fight Over Dreamers’
Trump faces off with Democrats over potential government shutdown
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will face off with Democratic leaders of Congress on Thursday in a high-stakes White House meeting intended to bridge differences over a spending bill and prevent a government shutdown.
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 disparaging note about them on Twitter.
Trump and Congress are facing a deadline of midnight Friday to pass new spending legislation. If they cannot agree on the terms, parts of the federal government could shut down.
Talks with Schumer and Pelosi, whom Trump has referred to as “Chuck and Nancy,” could be the start of a protracted blame game. The Republican president said on Wednesday that Democrats were looking at something “very dangerous” for the United States: “They are looking at shutting down.”
Schumer walks tightrope on shutdown, immigration fights
The threat of a government shutdown has put Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) in a tricky political situation.
Schumer has kept his caucus unified against President Trump’s major legislative drives on ObamaCare and tax reform, but he faces a more divided group of Democrats when it comes to protecting young immigrants who could face deportation next year.
The internal debate has more to do with legislative strategy than the underlining issue.
Democrats generally back a legislative fix that would allow so-called Dreamers brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the country.
But Democrats facing reelection next year in states that voted for Trump don’t want to risk a shutdown over the issue.
“I still don’t think government shutdown is a good thing,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who has a tough reelection next year.Article Continues Below
He urged Schumer to “do the right thing” by working on a solution to protect Dreamers, fund the government and set aside money for wildfires.
In other words, keep the conversation going instead of shutting down the process with an ultimatum.
Dreamers’ Fate Hangs Over Efforts to Avert Government Shutdown
Democrats resist backing spending bill without immigration deal; more Republicans back legislation to protect Dreamers without demanding tougher enforcement measures
WASHINGTON—A long-running fight over immigration threatens to spark a government shutdown later this month and add to Republicans’ political and policy challenges moving forward.
GOP lawmakers are divided over when to tackle one of the most inflammatory issues to their voters: how to handle the fate of so-called Dreamers, young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
President Donald Trump in September ended an Obama-era program shielding them from deportation, with the protections beginning to expire in early March. That gave Congress six months to pass legislation protecting them. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) are expected to meet with Mr. Trump and GOP leaders on Thursday to discuss year-end legislation.
Many conservatives insist that, if Congress is to protect Dreamers, it also must approve tougher enforcement measures opposed by Democrats, such as funding for a border wall with Mexico or tougher rules for people seeking to immigrate to the U.S.
But an increasing number of Republicans, including many facing tough re-election campaigns next year, are voicing support for legislation that would protect the Dreamers without making those demands. They are concerned that a failure to act now could damage their ability to hold their House majority in next year’s midterm elections.
On Tuesday, 34 House Republicans, including 12 representing districts Democrat Hillary Clinton won in last year’s presidential election, signed a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) urging him to bring legislation to the floor this year preventing the Dreamers’ deportation.
“I’m highly confident we’ll get it resolved because the politics of not dealing with these kids in a fair fashion would be devastating,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Wednesday. “It would destroy our ability, particularly with the Hispanic community, to grow.”
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