Trump to meet with GOP leaders Wednesday on must-pass spending bills

Trump to meet with GOP leaders Wednesday on must-pass spending bills
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE will meet with GOP leaders on Wednesday to discuss the legislative agenda ahead of November’s midterms, which includes avoiding a government shutdown at the end of this month.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage How does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act MORE (R-Wis.) will be in attendance at the White House meeting with congressional leaders, according to his office. Also expected are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report MORE (R-Ky.) and House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' MORE (R-La.).

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Democratic leaders were not invited to the strategy session, but there could be a bipartisan meeting on spending with the big four congressional leaders at some point this month.

The sit-down with Trump comes as Congress is facing a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government, with Republican lawmakers eager to avoid a pre-election shutdown.

Senators, who stayed in Washington, D.C., instead of taking their usual August recess, have made quick work of their funding packages, passing nine out of the 12 individual appropriations bills. 

But lawmakers still need to get a deal on the three spending packages they have not cleared so far, a challenge that will require them to defuse partisan policy riders included in the House bills. 

Both Ryan and McConnell have indicated that they want to punt on funding the Department of Homeland Security until after the midterm elections to avoid a potentially explosive fight over funding for Trump's border wall.

But the contentious issue looms over the broader funding bill. Trump has threatened to veto spending legislation that doesn’t fund his signature policy.

And Democrats have held out the prospect of wall funding as part of a broader immigration deal, and are unlikely to lend their support without getting a significant concession in return.

Even if Congress sends the nine bills to Trump’s desk, lawmakers will need a continuing resolution (CR) to fund those parts of the government addressed in the remaining bills past the end of September. The stopgap is likely to go into December, but leadership hasn’t yet worked out the details of a short-term bill. 

—Jordain Carney contributed.