President Donald Trump nodded as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi listed issues on which she said the duo agree and she wants to see in a long-term spending measure.
That list included the children’s health program, combating the opioid crisis, and veterans funding. She referred to those as “things that have bipartisan support in the Congress.”
Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., was more succinct, saying only during remarks Trump asked each leader to make that he is “glad we’re here to resume conversations.”
That was a jab at Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who skipped a meeting last Tuesday after Trump fired off a morning tweet saying he did not think a deal with them was possible over their stances on immigration and other issues.
“We’re here in the spirit of let’s get it done,” Schumer said from his couch seat beside Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., across from Ryan and Pelosi.
McConnell also was succinct, declaring himself “happy to be here” in pursuit of a deal for funding to “finish out the year.”
Amid some talk on Capitol Hill of multiple short-term stopgaps to provide more time for brokering a deal, Vice President Mike Pence said he hopes the White House and leadership can find agreement and pass the bill “before this Christmas.”
With defense spending a central part of the talks, Trump included Defense Secretary James Mattis in the meeting. He referred to the retired Marine Corps general as a “genius.”