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White House, congressional leaders to huddle on key bills

by Evan Wilt
Posted 1/03/18, 11:13 am

WASHINGTON—Congressional leaders plan to meet with President Donald Trump’s top aides Wednesday afternoon to begin negotiations on 2018’s must-pass bills. Lawmakers are quickly approaching the Jan. 19 deadline to pass a government funding package. Republicans and Democrats, unable to reconcile differences at the end of last year, decided to pass three short-term, stopgap bills instead of a yearlong budget. The spending package gives Democrats leverage to force Republicans into bipartisan deals. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will meet with their Democratic counterparts, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, along with White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. The meeting’s agenda includes several hot-button policy debates such as finding a solution for young undocumented immigrants, disaster aid for hurricane-battered states, and the federally backed state Children’s Health Insurance Program. Ahead of the meeting, Pelosi sent a letter to her caucus telling members she would ask for higher domestic spending to match the GOP’s request for increased defense dollars. In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said the Democratic Party just wants to play politics and is not approaching immigration talks in good faith. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which helps minors who immigrated illegally, will expire March 5 without congressional action.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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