"It could happen", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, in response to a reporter's question about the Friday deadline for a spending bill to fund the government. At the same time they will be rushing to finish work on tax legislation before leaving Washington for the holidays. Her stance was noteworthy because GOP leaders are likely to require Democratic votes for the pre-Christmas spending bill.
The measure now goes to President Trump for his signature.
"Today, we are moving to the crucial final stage in delivering once-in-a-generation tax reform to the American people", said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, Texas Republican.
Without support from their own conservatives, House GOP leaders would need backing from Democrats to push a temporary measure through the chamber. Republican leaders in the House have released a short-term continuing resolution bill that would keep the government operating at the current funding levels for the next two weeks while they negotiate a longer-term spending deal.
Pelosi and Schumer, in a joint statement, described the White House meeting as "productive".
"I'm exhausted of seeing the same play again and again", he said. Once the budget deal is reached, lawmakers can work out detailed spending plan that would fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year 2018 which ends on September 30 next year. The Treasury Department has about $250 billion worth of extraordinary measures available to extend the deadline, plus about $80 billion in cash.
While the legislation eliminates the threat of an immediate shutdown, it does not resolve questions about how the government should be funded down the road.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump and the so-called "Big Four" congressional leaders-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., met at the White House to discuss a strategy to avoid a government shutdown after the stopgap expires.
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Democrats boycotted a similar gathering last week after Trump tweeted that he didn't see a deal as being possible.
Schumer denied that Democrats are eager to force a confrontation.
Congress seems set to prevent a weekend government shutdown. "His party controls the Senate, the House and the presidency. We Democrats are not interested in one".
Behind the scenes, top Democrats and Republicans are preparing for a Thursday negotiating session with Trump over a long-term budget deal.
Meadows said they'll help it pass to avoid distractions from the GOP drive to push their treasured $1.5 trillion tax bill through Congress this month.
Walker said Ryan also committed to seek to include disaster relief spending in the December 22 spending bill, as well as an effort to cut $190 billion in entitlement spending over 10 years through "some kind of work requirement for capable-bodied adults with no dependents".
Pelosi said Democrats have no interest in a government shutdown, but they can't support the GOP's continuing resolution because it omits a long list of provisions the Democrats consider must-pass this year, including protections for so-called Dreamers and funding for the opioid crisis, hurricane and wildfire relief, veterans issues and pension protections ... One Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., said conservatives wanted leaders' assurances that they wouldn't agree to unacceptably higher spending.