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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 TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 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 RyanPaul Ryan to host fundraiser for Cheney amid GOP tensions Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be 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 McConnellBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote MORE (R-Ky.) and House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBiden's COVID, border policies prove he's serious about neither Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat 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.