'I don’t see a deal!' Trump says govt shutdown likely, cites ‘weak on crime’ Democrats

'I don’t see a deal!' Trump says govt shutdown likely, cites ‘weak on crime’ Democrats
US President Donald Trump said he does not envision reaching a deal with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown, citing their stance on immigration and crime.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Trump said that he would be meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) later in the day, but that he was not optimistic about a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

“Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!” he wrote.

Both the House and Senate must pass a spending bill by December 8 to avoid the shutdown. A fight over immigration has complicated efforts to reach a deal.

Schumer and Pelosi apparently abandoned plans to meet with Trump in the wake of the tweet, saying that “given that the president doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,” AP reported.

The major point of tension between the two sides is the Obama administration’s executive program giving legal protections to children of immigrants living in the US illegally, known as “Dreamers.” Trump scrapped the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), in September. If Congress doesn’t pass a law granting them legal status, “Dreamers” may face deportation next year.

Democrats are demanding that any deal on funding the government include language providing protection for DACA recipients. Trump and Congressional Republicans have countered by pushing for funding of the wall along the border with Mexico.

Republicans and Democrats are unlikely to agree on any legislation granting DACA recipients legal status. The GOP is looking to mandate an e-verify computer database, so employers can check the immigration status of applicants and avoid hiring workers who are in the US illegally. They are also seeking an end to the diversity lottery visa program, which currently allows 50,000 people a year to come into the US as permanent residents. Democrats, however, want to create a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, with demands to do the same for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

There had previously been talk of a short-term deal which could have funded the government for several weeks, giving the parties time to further negotiate a long-term deal for the rest of the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2018. Trump's tweet, however, appears to suggest such a solution is unlikely.