Pelosi says Democrats will not back short-term funding bill on Thursday

Trump says government shutdown possible

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi fired back in a tweet saying, "President Trump is the only person talking about a government shutdown".

The four top leaders of Congress - House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer - went to the White House Thursday to discuss broader issues that would be part of a long-term spending deal.

Some conservative Republicans may oppose the spending bill on the grounds that the time period is too short and forces more crucial decision-making right before the holidays.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is working toward a deal with House Republican leaders that would secure the conservative group's support for bill funding the government through December 22 in exchange for breaking out a separate defense funding bill in the next round of budget negotiations.

With Senate passage also considered likely, the remarks by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., seemed to erase any doubt that Congress would approve legislation keeping federal agencies afloat through December 22.

Pelosi said: "Democrats are hopeful the president will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open".

President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that a government shutdown was possible this weekend because Democrats were demanding to have "illegal immigrants pouring into our country", tossing incendiary rhetoric onto a partisan showdown that had been showing signs of easing.

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Congressional Republicans said they will negotiate with Democrats on the status of young migrants in the new year, but the issue should not get tied up with consideration of a new spending plan. Meadows says they'll help it pass to avoid distractions from the GOP drive to push their $1.5 trillion tax bill through Congress this month. Even the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose members have been threatening to oppose the measure, predicted passage. But Schumer and Pelosi said earlier this week they would attend the new talks alongside their Republican counterparts.

The call for a "clean C.R." means the White House is looking for at least a short-term funding extension without other policy provisions attached. It said money for the military including missile defense and security along the border with Mexico "must be prioritized in a long-term funding agreement".

Top Republicans are adamant about not sparking a federal shutdown that would deal the latest blow to a party that has strained all year to show it can govern effectively.

The measure also makes money available to several states that are running out of funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program, a widely popular program that provides medical care to more than 8 million children. But they will need some Democratic support to get the temporary spending bill past Senate procedural hurdles that require 60 votes, since there are only 52 Republicans in the 100-member chamber.

Lawmakers are also debating a proposal to pass a short-term spending bill while funding the Pentagon for a full year.

Democrats have been using their leverage to insist on spending boosts for health care, infrastructure and other domestic programs that would match increases Republicans want for defense. Those are the roughly 700,000 immigrants in the country illegally who were brought to the U.S.as children. Trump ended safeguards against deportation three months ago but has expressed an openness to restoring them.

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