Take Two: Schumer, Pelosi Accept Trump's Invitation to Talk Budget

Take Two Schumer Pelosi Accept Trump's Invitation to Talk Budget

The Kentucky Republican also predicted the House and Senate can iron out differences over the tax legislation and get it to President Donald Trump before Christmas.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who chairs the 150-plus member Republican Study Committee, had been pushing for a spending bill that would provide funding through the end of the year. Democrats would likely oppose that approach because it doesn't address DACA.

Pelosi has echoed the sentiment, and said last week "we want to keep government open". The US government shut down for the first time in 17 years on October 1 after lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal by the end of the fiscal year. Susan Collins of ME to get their tax bill done - without consulting the House. Also on the agenda would be other year-end matters, including protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children, hurricane disaster aid and an extension of the expired Children's Health Insurance Program.

Republicans and Democrats have very different spending priorities.

McConnell said Sunday that a CHIP extension and disaster aid would be addressed in a spending bill before December 22, but not immigration.

Democrats want to include a slew of legislative priorities in the funding bill, including codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obamacare stabilization package, and long-term funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Under the law, the defense spending cap is to drop to $549 billion in 2018 from $551 billion in 2017, while nondefense spending is to drop to $516 billion from $518 billion.

Republicans want to secure funding for President Donald Trump's promised border wall and increase the defense spending caps.

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Given the divisions inside the House GOP conference on spending bill votes, Democrats traditionally back stopgap bills to avoid any threat of a shutdown.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of NY didn't attend a White House meeting Tuesday to discuss the spending caps because Trump tweeted that morning that he didn't think a deal would be possible. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said House leaders recognized that possibility in their Friday morning meeting.

In exchange for their vote on a short-term funding bill, they demanded Republican leadership consider pushing the length of the measure at least through the end of the month.

Republican lawmakers are asking for an extension, and filed a two-week stopgap measure to buy more time for negotiations, but the new Dec 22 deadline won't be approved without a vote in Congress this week.

The government runs out of money at midnight Friday.

After getting assurances from leadership, some Freedom Caucus members seemed to warm to the idea of a two-week bill, instead of a three-week bill they had pushed for that would have kept the government funded until December 30.

Democrats haven't said how they will vote, but a Democratic aide said their vote would depend on wider budget talks making progress. "I don't think so", Brat said.

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