June 17, 2019 | From Politico
Top Senate Republicans will meet with President Donald Trump’s negotiating team to discuss whether the party can pass government funding bills amid stalled budget negotiations with congressional Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama and other Republican appropriators will meet with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought on Tuesday afternoon, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Mnuchin has been Trump’s point man on fiscal issues after the debacle that resulted in a 35-day partial government shutdown during the holidays. Mulvaney, a former House member, and Vought are seen as more reluctant to cut a spending deal with Democrats given their opposition to spending increases. Some conservatives want to allow blunt budget cuts to take place in the fall that will automatically occur absent action — though leaders in both parties prefer a budget deal to avoid spending cuts on both defense and domestic matters.
Talks among Republicans and Democrats are stalled over a disagreement on increasing domestic spending. So, Senate Republicans are trying to figure out whether they can begin moving spending bills absent a two-year spending agreement. House Democrats are moving this week to pass a package spending bill, though without the impediment of the Senate’s supermajority requirement.
Shelby is eager to work with Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to begin passing spending bills after reaching an agreement last year to ward off “poison pill” amendments that can derail the process. That could more difficult this year with an internal Democratic debate over how far to go to kill the Hyde Amendment, which restricts abortion spending. (Excerpted from Politico article by Burgess Everett)