Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

President Trump says government shutdown `could happen' Saturday

President Trump says government shutdown `could happen' Saturday

The Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress are scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday.

'The Democrats are really looking at something that is very unsafe for our country.

Trump and Congress are facing a deadline of Friday at midnight to pass fresh spending legislation.

Republican leaders have delayed a planned House vote on a short-term budget bill to allow themselves more time to quell GOP divisions over spending and avert a weekend government shutdown.

Democrats are also seeking an agreement to extend protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrived in the US illegally as children. Trump ended safeguards against deportation three months ago but has expressed an openness to restoring them.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that a government shutdown "could happen" and it will be Democrats' fault if it does. He said Democrats "want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country bringing with them crime, tremendous amounts of crime". "I want to see Senate action, and I think they owe it to the House to show us those next steps".

'So the Democrats maybe will want to shutdown the country cause they want people flowing into our country, and I want people coming into our country, but I want to vet those people, and I want to vet them very carefully, ' Trump said, 'because we don't want to have radical Islamic terrorism in this country, and we don't want to have crime in this country'.

His remarks before a Cabinet meeting drew a tweet from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Trump had been asked as he finished a statement to the press about the possibility that spending authorization would run out, forcing the federal government to send all essential workers home until they approve a bill. "We hope the President will go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can´t be reached beforehand".

Mr. Trump referred to his lunch guests, who included frequent Trump critic Sen.

Democrats have opposed his plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico, but have expressed a willingness to fund other border security measures.

They were also discussing the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mr. Trump has threatened to kill if it can't be improved on terms more favorable to the U.S. While Democrats have opposed that ban, the issue hasn't appeared to be part of the budget talks.

House Republican leaders are sticking to their plan for a short-term extension to keep the government open despite opposition from the hard-right Freedom Caucus. "Any distraction from that is a problem". He said Democrats are in an "untenable position" if they push the immigration issue to the point of a government shutdown.

Later, he and conservative leader Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, met with top House Republicans and said they were seeking a strategy to reduce Democrats' budget leverage by quickly approving a full-year budget for the military.

Republican senators say they made the tax cuts temporary to comply with Senate budget rules that prevented Democrats from blocking the bill. This would give Republicans and Democrats time to negotiation some of the last-minute agenda items such as spending totals, money for children's health care and disaster relief.

"This bill - one without any controversial policy riders - will continue government funding and give the House and Senate time to complete their work on a long-term solution", McConnell said in the statement.

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