The prognosis to avert a government shutdown looks promising for now, as House Republicans prepare to put a short-term spending bill on the floor Thursday to keep the federal government running for another two weeks.
But all eyes will be on the White House, where President Donald Trump and top congressional leaders will meet and hope to resolve longstanding policy differences so a Congress can pass a long-term spending bill by Christmas. And that’s no sure thing. Republican aides and members in the House say they’re confident they have enough GOP votes to pass the stopgap bill — a positive sign for Republican leaders that the early showdown by the conservative House Freedom Caucus has ended. Republican leaders and Freedom Caucus principals had several meetings Wednesday, with aides and members describing the talks as a positive step to moving forward on the two-week measure. According to one GOP House aide, members were even told they could expect to go home Thursday instead of Friday if they got their work done ahead of the deadline.
However, the major obstacle is what comes after December 22, when the government runs out of money once again.
For that, aides say a meeting between congressional leaders and Trump on Thursday will set the tone for negotiations moving forward with all eyes on whether the President shows up ready to play deal-maker or instigator. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer already canceled a previous meeting with Trump after the President tweeted that he didn’t see any way forward on a deal.
The hurdle will be not only what Republican leaders in the House can negotiate with their own members, a delicate balance as they seek to ensure nothing disrupts their progress on their tax bill, but also what Republicans can negotiate with Democrats.

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Ever since Republicans retook control of the House in 2011 and the Senate in 2015, party leaders have leaned on at least a few dozen Democrats to help pass spending bills in the face of opposition from dozens of fiscal conservatives. Once again this week, roughly three dozen ardent conservatives in the House U.S. USA America “United States” Tax Law Lawyer Trump Party Christmas “New Year” “Corporate Tax” Business “Middle Class” Win Winner Leader Leadership” “Tax Refund” “small business” 2017 2018 budget money closed open “open for business” shut bill house deal deals debt strength spending accounts accounting are balking at the latest GOP spending plan, raising concerns that the government will miss a late-Friday spending deadline. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded on Twitter to Trump’s comments saying: “President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown. Democrats are hopeful the President will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open.”

“There are a number of things, we’re trying to make sure that the time frame for tax reform is very aggressive and strong. … We want to make sure tax reform is sped up, there are three or four things that we want to make sure get addressed in the tax reform changes. They’re not unique to the Freedom Caucus but just important things that have to be done,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina. “And then ultimately is not only the second step of funding but what is the third and fourth and fifth step if necessary, and making sure that we fully understand those and how we best make sure that we make good conservative fiscal decisions.”



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