Trump confident lawmakers can reach funding deal

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Pruitt spent K flying aides to Australia to prep for later-canceled visit: report Rosenstein told Trump he is not a target of Mueller probe: report MORE, on Thursday, expressed confidence lawmakers will reach a deal to avert a government shutdown during an Oval Office meeting with congressional leaders.

“We're all here today as a very friendly, well-unified group," Trump told reporters. "It's a well knit together group of people. And we hope that we're going to make some great progress for our country. I think that will happen and we'll appreciate it very much."

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Pelosi pushes back against Steyer’s impeachment push FreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Congress should build on the momentum from spending bill Corker won’t campaign against Democrat running for Tennessee Senate seat MORE (D-N.Y.) joined their Republican counterparts at the White House, one week after they pulled out of a meeting designed to resolve the contentious year-end spending fight.


The cancellation set off a partisan tiff that complicated the spending talks. Trump last Wednesday sat between two empty chairs intended for Schumer and Pelosi and tore into the Democratic leaders during the meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd FreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker House, Senate GOP compete for cash Some doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP MORE (R-Wis.).

But on Thursday, the leaders were all smiles sitting on sofas in front of Trump and Vice President Pence inside the Oval Office.

“We are here in the spirit of, ‘let’s get it done,’ ” Schumer said.

Pelosi said she hoped to “make progress” on a funding deal as well as on funding to fight opioid addiction, money for veterans and a reauthorization of the expired child health insurance program.

McConnell expressed hope the leaders could “reach a bipartisan agreement to finish out the year.”

Trump has previously said a government shutdown "could happen" and indicated he would blame Democrats because of their demands on immigration.

Democratic leaders did not bring up the topic during their public remarks. 

Congress must pass a government funding bill before Friday to avoid a shutdown.

The House is set to pass a stopgap spending bill to avert a shutdown and buy more time for negotiations on a broader deal. 

Pelosi said earlier Thursday that Democrats will oppose the bill, putting the onus on GOP leaders to cobble together a majority on their own. 

A number of hot-button issues stand in the way of an agreement. Democrats are demanding a legislative fix for young immigrants who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era initiative Trump scrapped in September.

Several key Democrats have threatened to withhold their votes from a spending bill if the language is not included. 

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

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisNavy, Marines chiefs say no morale issues with transgender troops Overnight Defense: Trump praises Pompeo meeting with Kim | White House, Mattis deny reported rift over Syria strikes | Southwest pilot is Navy vet | Pentagon reform bill hits snag White House, Mattis deny report he urged Trump to get Congress's approval on Syria strikes MORE also attended the meeting with Trump and congressional leaders. After the photo op, Trump took the group into the Situation Room of the White House to receive an update from Mattis.

This story was updated at 3:56 p.m.