Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, just met with President Trump at the White House Friday as part of efforts to avert an imminent government shutdown, just hours after the White House coined a decidedly Trumpian phrase in the battle to assign blame for the standoff, branding it the “Schumer Shutdown.”
“We hope that we’re going to make some great progress for our country. I think that will happen,” said Trump, who has previously criticized Democrats for wanting to include immigration provisions in a new spending plan.
The meeting, initiated by Trump, was a one-on-one between the president and the Democratic leader, with staff for each also present, according to a person familiar with the matter. Republican congressional leaders weren’t included.
The fact that it took place raised hopes among some lawmakers that it may lead to a breakthrough that would let the Senate act on a stalled stopgap funding measure.
According to CNN:
Several GOP senators, for example, were trying to find out from Democrats why they are dug in against the House’s short-term spending mechanism. Why won’t they believe that Republicans will deal with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, later? The program expires March 5, but Republicans’ message to their colleagues was “come on, you know we won’t deport DACA recipients.”
Democrats, however, feel trust has eroded after immigration negotiations broke down last week when Trump went from saying he’d accept a bipartisan solution on DACA in one meeting and then two days later rejecting a bill authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. In that same meeting Trump used vulgar language to describe the African countries where some immigrants come from.
With a midnight deadline looming, the bill now moves to the Senate where the Republicans hold only a slender majority, making prospects for passage grim. To break a Democratic filibuster, the bill will need 60 votes. Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate.