Trump embraces Democrats again on debt ceiling and immigration

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

The moment distilled the inherent tensions between Trump, 71, a former Democrat and ideologically flexible deal-maker, and Ryan, 47, a loyal Republican whose discomfort with Trump led him to withhold his endorsement for weeks a year ago. Rep. Peter King of NY said the president asked him at a White House meeting Thursday how the bipartisan outreach was going.

The president, however, was energized by the deal and the sense of progress after seven months of frustrated legislative efforts and he reached out to Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi on Thursday to see if they could work out further deals.

Relegated for months to playing defense, congressional Democrats are rising again.

Congress on Friday sent President Donald Trump a $15.3 billion disaster aid package that includes an increase in the nation's borrowing authority that angered conservative Republicans who hissed and booed senior administration officials dispatched to Capitol Hill to defend it.

The White House session painted a vivid portrait of discord at the highest ranks of the Republican Party.

The prospect of cutting deals with Trump was proving a dilemma for some Democrats. It also underscored the political pressure on Ryan to try to remain in the president's good graces even when Trump is flirting with Democrats.

"I think he's becoming a little more pragmatic and, frankly, becoming a little more presidential in his ability to recognize that you don't get anything done around here unless you can find ways to work with both sides", Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, said on CNN on Friday. "The two of you in the room, '" said King, referring to Schumer.

Democrats want a bill addressing the Dreamers without other issues attached, but Pelosi did not rule out including border security measures that Trump and Ryan want. "That's kind of the mantra in my district", he said. He has singled out Ryan for blame, saying the speaker assured him it would pass and instead handed him an early, humiliating failure, before ultimate House passage of a revived bill, according to three White House and outside advisers familiar with the conversations but not authorized to speak about them publicly.

The additional Senate money is to jump-start rebuilding efforts. She said that after a discussion with Democratic lawmakers about fears in the immigrant community, she had planned to call White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Thursday morning to talk about it.

Trump voiced support on Thursday for the idea of eliminating the statutory cap on the U.S. Treasury Department's authority to borrow. He has spoken less glowingly about Ryan's own ability to lead due to the shorter House terms and the growing insurgency within the conservative Freedom Caucus. "Congress, I really believe, wants to take care of this situation", he told reporters on Air Force One.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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