WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump unexpectedly caved to Democrats Wednesday afternoon at the White House, undercutting Republican leadership’s proposals for raising the debt ceiling and funding the government, a source briefed on the meeting told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The president and Vice President Mike Pence met Wednesday in the Oval Office with both Republican and Democratic congressional leadership — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — to discuss the best way to move forward with tax reform and the administration’s other legislative agendas. (RELATED: Trump To Kick Off First Tax Reform Push In 30 Years)
McConnell, Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin were all in favor of raising the debt ceiling longer than Schumer and Pelosi wanted, the source told TheDCNF. Republican leadership in Congress pitched the president on an 18-month, and later a six-month, raising of the debt ceiling, which Schumer and Pelosi refused to accept.
Both Republican and Democratic leadership at the meeting were going to agree to disagree, when the president unexpectedly sided with the Democrats, the source told TheDCNF.
Instead of aligning with members of his own party and his administration, Trump agreed Wednesday afternoon to raise the debt limit and fund the federal government through mid-December, allowing members of Congress to deal with the federal budget in the coming months. (RELATED: Trump Agrees To Raise Debt Ceiling, Fund Gov’t)
“In the meeting, the President and Congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit, and a continuing resolution both to December 15, all together,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday.
“We had a very good meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. We agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred — very important — always we’ll agree on debt ceiling automatically because of the importance of it,” Trump told reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One.
“So we have an extension, which will go out to December 15th. That will include the debt ceiling, that will include the CRs, and it will include Harvey — the amount of money to be determined, but it will include — because everyone is in favor obviously of taking care of that situation. So we all very much agree,” Trump said.
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