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Trump to Dine Wednesday Night with Congress’s Top Democrats Pelosi and Schumer Say They Have Deal With Trump to Replace DACA
(about 9 hours later)
WASHINGTON — President Trump will dine at the White House on Wednesday night with Congress’s two top Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, pursuing a bipartisan patina as he heads into the fall legislative season with little to show for his first year in office. WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders on Wednesday night declared that they had a deal with President Trump to quickly extend protections for young undocumented immigrants and to finalize a border security package that does not include the president’s proposed wall.
Mr. Schumer, the Senate minority leader, and Ms. Pelosi, the House minority leader, have never dined with the president before, and are the only members of the congressional leadership who will attend, according to two people briefed on the meeting. After a White House dinner with the president, the Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, released a joint statement that appeared aimed at ensuring that the president would follow through after their discussions on the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
Also on hand will be Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Marc Short, the president’s legislative director, and John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff. “We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president,” the statement said. “The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
The meeting was described as a follow-up to one that Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi held in the Oval Office last week with Speaker Paul D. Ryan and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, at which Mr. Trump astonished and undercut his own advisers by leaping at a deal offered by Democrats to attach a stopgap spending bill and debt-ceiling increase to a package of recovery aid for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. In its own statement, the White House was far more muted, mentioning DACA as merely one of several things that were discussed.
On the agenda for Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi is protecting so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were young, as well as shoring up the insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, according to two other people who were briefed on their plans. “President Donald Trump had a constructive working dinner with Senate and House minority leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, as well as administration officials to discuss policy and legislative priorities,” the statement said. “These topics included tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade. This is a positive step toward the president’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans. The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle.”
Mr. Trump recently began to wind down the program known as DACA, which provided protection from deportation for roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. But he has been torn about it, and he has made clear he would like a legislative fix. A White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private dinner insisted that the president had stressed his interest in seeing the border wall funded. The wall was a key campaign pledge, but Democrats are vehemently against it, and funding it has remained a thorny issue.
According to a person briefed on the meeting, the president said at the dinner that he was not tethering wall funding to the DACA solution. Mr. Trump recently began to wind down DACA, which has provided protection from deportation for roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. But he has been torn about it, and he has made clear he would like a legislative fix.
The president is pursuing a bipartisan patina as he heads into the fall legislative season with few major achievments in his first eight months in office.
The meeting on Wednesday night was described as a follow-up to one that Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi held in the Oval Office last week with Speaker Paul D. Ryan and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, at which Mr. Trump astonished — and undercut — his own advisers by leaping at a deal offered by Democrats to attach a stopgap spending bill and debt-ceiling increase to a package of recovery aid for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.