President Trump sided with Democratic leadership in a deal to keep the government open another three months, but stopped short of promising them anything on the program for young unauthorized immigrants he ended earlier this week.
“The bottom line is the president listened to the arguments,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters Wednesday of the “very productive” meeting with Trump. “And to his credit, he went with the better argument.”
A congressional aide briefed on Wednesday’s White House meeting said Republican leaders were surprised when Trump suddenly agreed to a proposal from Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to fund the government and lift its borrowing limit for three months, until Dec. 15. The bill also provides billions of dollars in aid for the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Republican leaders wanted a longer extension of the debt ceiling, to avoid multiple votes on the politically tricky issue.
Shortly before the meeting, Speaker Paul Ryan blasted the Democrats’ three-month proposal in a press conference as “ridiculous and disgraceful.”
Republican senators agreed. “I think it’s absurd to continue to say we’re going to go every three months to tell people whether we’re going to pay our bills,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said shortly before the announcement of Trump’s deal.
In the past, Trump criticized Republicans for agreeing to a four-month extension on the debt ceiling, calling them bad negotiators.