GOP leaders have spent months cajoling President Donald Trump in favor of a bipartisan budget deal that would fund the government and raise the limit on federal borrowing this fall, but their efforts have yet to produce a deal. And the uncertain path forward was underscored this week at the Capitol when a budget meeting between key Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and senior White House officials left out Democrats, whose votes will be imperative to avoid a shutdown and an economy-shaking breach of the federal debt limit.
“We’re negotiating with ourselves right now,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala. “The president, the administration, has some views, maybe, that are a little different sometimes than the Senate Republicans have. So we’re trying to see if we can be together as best we can.”
The GOP dysfunction – coupled with a new House Democratic majority with its own priorities – puts the sides much further apart than they were at this time in last year’s budget process, which ended in a record-long government funding lapse. At the time, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, but negotiations stalled over funding Trump’s immigration priorities.
Trump and Congress face a