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Meadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities

Meadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities
© Greg Nash

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE huddled with Senate Republicans on Wednesday to talk end-of-year strategy and field ideas for the remainder of President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE’s term. 

The meeting with Meadows comes as both the 116th Congress and the administration are nearing a close, though Trump has yet to concede the election to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenIRS to roll out payments for ,000 child tax credit in July Capitol Police told not to use most aggressive tactics in riot response, report finds Biden to accompany first lady to appointment for 'common medical procedure' MORE.

"Basically just that we've got about 45 days left of the president’s term. He said he wanted to make sure that [if] we had ideas of things that the White House could and should do during that period of time, that we got them to him," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Application portal for venue grants down for five days with no updates Democrats work to pick up GOP support on anti-Asian hate crimes bill MORE (R-Texas) told reporters.

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Cornyn, who said it wasn't a "very substantive message" from the chief of staff, then clarified that Meadows said, "Whether it's 45 days or four years and 45 days.”

GOP senators said Meadows did not directly acknowledge Biden's victory in the election, though he talked about the relationship he’s developed with Senate Republicans as the president’s chief of staff. 

Meadows's message was that “he enjoyed working with us and appreciated the good relationship,” Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum Small cities fret over feds redefining metro areas MORE (R-N.D.) told reporters. "He just said he appreciated the working relationships. Really, that was a big part of it."

Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerBiden administration faces big decision on whether to wade into Dakota Access fight OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum MORE (R-N.D.) said Meadows thanked them for the "access" and that the chief of staff's message was “sweet" before quipping, "He didn’t apologize for being the founder of the Freedom Caucus, but it was implied."

When a reporter noted that Meadows's remarks sounded final and asked if he was anticipating a Biden administration in January, Cramer replied that Meadows "never said that." 

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GOP senators say they did not get specifics on issues such as government funding and did not discuss the firing of Christopher Krebs, a top cyber official, but that they instead used the lunch to pitch Meadows on smaller bills. 

“Really we were talking about other issues that weren’t really in the current discussion,” said Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunExclusive: GOP senators seek FBI investigation into Biden Pentagon nominee A number of Republican lawmakers are saying no to COVID-19 vaccines GOP goes on the attack against Biden relief bill MORE (R-Ind.). 

Meadows declined to discuss his message to GOP senators on his way out of the closed-door lunch.