Trump confident lawmakers can reach funding deal

President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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 PelosiMcCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 After vote against coronavirus relief package, Golden calls for more bipartisanship in Congress Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill 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 McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director Bottom line Ex-Trump chief of staff Priebus mulling Wisconsin governor bid 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 MattisRejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction 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.