Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 64° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation

Congress’ top 2 Dems to meet Trump on government spending

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, walks through the Capitol, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, walks through the Capitol, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
By Alan Fram Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Congress’ top two Democrats said Monday they’ve accepted an invitation from President Donald Trump for a White House budget summit later this week as the two parties try to avert a clash over spending, immigration and other issues that could produce a government shutdown.

The meeting would occur Thursday and include Republican congressional leaders, the Democrats said.

Federal money for government agencies expires at midnight Friday night, meaning a partial federal shutdown would occur without legislation extending the financing. Republicans want to avoid a shutdown just weeks from the start of an election year but will need Democratic votes, especially for any long-term budget pact.

Just last Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, pulled out of a similar meeting planned for hours later. Their cancellation came after Trump took to Twitter to mock their positions on taxes, crime and immigration and said he saw no chance for deal.

“We hope the president will go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can’t be reached beforehand,” the two Democrats said in a statement Monday.

Schumer and Pelosi – or “Chuck and Nancy,” as Trump has called them on Twitter – repeated the Democratic stance that they want defense and domestic programs to get equal funding increases.

They say money is needed to address a children’s health insurance program, aid to states battered by recent storms, the opioid drug crisis, infrastructure in rural areas and pension plans running low in funds.

Democrats are also demanding a plan to protect immigrants who arrived illegally in the U.S. as children. Trump scuttled a program from President Barack Obama’s administration that protected them from deportation. Weeks ago, Trump expressed a desire to work with Democrats to extend those protections, but there’ve been no indications of any progress.

“There is a bipartisan path forward on all of these items,” the two Democrats said.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.