Trump faces off with Democrats over potential US govt shutdown
WASHINGTON, Dec 7 : President Donald Trump was to 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 cancelling 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."
Pelosi responded in a tweet that Trump was the only person talking about such a scenario.
"Democrats are hopeful the president will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open," she wrote. The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. (2000 GMT).
The Republican-controlled House is expected to vote on Thursday on a bill that would keep the government open at current spending levels through Dec. 22 while lawmakers negotiate a longer-term solution. The legislation will include some short-term help for states running out of money to finance a health insurance programme for lower-income children. -REUTERS