WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – President Trump will meet with congressional leaders next week to discuss several high-stakes, hot-button legislative issues they hope to wrap up by the end of the year.
The meeting is set for Tuesday, and Republicans will undoubtedly focus on tax reform, the GOP’s top priority for 2017. But the more urgent item on Congress’ to-do list is keeping the government open.
Current funding for federal agencies will run out on Dec. 8, so lawmakers will need pass a new spending bill before then to prevent a shutdown.
“The President will be meeting with congressional leaders next week to discuss end-of-year legislative issues," Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.
The meeting is expected to include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and the Senate's Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York. Both House leaders – Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – are also expected to attend.
It will take place after Trump returns from spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Florida at his private club, Mar-a-Lago. Congress is back in session and is expected to debate tax reform next week.
Democrats will also likely push for an agreement to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helps 9 million children access low-cost insurance. The program expired at the end of September.
The most contentious topic on the table: Legislation to protect the so-called DREAMers from deportation. The Trump administration announced in September it would phase out that program, which granted temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Democrats are likely to push for a fix to clarify the status of an estimated 800,000 immigrants now in limbo. Trump has said Congress should pass legislation to address their status; lawmakers have until March to act before the DREAMers could face deportation.
Deirdre Shesgreen reported from Washington.