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Trump meets with Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and Ryan ahead of government funding deadline

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. courtesy of CNN. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. courtesy of CNN.

President Trump met with congressional leaders Thursday from both parties in the House and Senate at the White House to discuss the issue of government funding ahead of the Friday deadline to fund the government.

"We're all here as a very friendly, well-unified group," Mr. Trump said ahead of the meeting, adding that it's a "well-knit together group of people."

Mr. Trump was joined at the White House by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"We hope we can come to an agreement," said Schumer. "Funding the government is extremely important."

Pelosi identified the opioid epidemic, veterans issues, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as issues Democrats would like addressed in the funding bill.

McConnell said he's attending the meeting to "reach a bipartisan agreement to finish out the year."

Afterward, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told the pool that the meeting moved from the Oval Office to the Situation Room where they are all receiving an update on the U.S. military from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Returning to Capitol Hill from the meeting, McConnell said, "We had a good meeting and agreed to keep on talking," but stopped short of saying any deals were reached. "I wouldn't say that but it was a good meeting everybody wants to get to an outcome."

Pelosi and Schumer released a joint statement afterward.

"We had a productive conversation on a wide variety of issues.  Nothing specific has been agreed to, but discussions continue," they said. "Democrats continue to press for action on the urgent, bipartisan priorities before Congress: to strengthen our national defense with parity for our domestic budget, to fund veterans and the fight against opioids, to address CHIP and Community Health Centers, to save Americans' endangered pensions, and to pass the DREAM Act." 

Funding for the government expires on Friday and Republicans are planning to bring a two-week spending measure to the floor on Thursday to avoid a shutdown. House GOP appropriators released the continuing resolution (CR) on Saturday morning, which would fund the government through Dec. 22.

In order to raise spending levels for the military and domestic programs for a longer-term spending deal, both chambers have to reach an agreement to lift spending limits set by a 2011 law. 

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