Down to the wire! Budget meeting is scheduled

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have scheduled a summit to begin sorting out their budget differences, top lawmakers and the White House said, as a clash that could produce a partial government shutdown by the weekend hung in the balance.

The meeting, set for Thursday at the White House, comes just a day before federal spending expires that’s needed to keep agencies functioning beyond midnight Friday night. Complicating the search for a pact are disputes over immigration, health and other issues folded into the year-end mix.

Top Republicans have wanted to push a bill through Congress this week keeping government afloat through Dec. 22, giving bargainers more time to seek a longer-term budget pact. But underscoring the balancing act leaders face, the hard-right House Freedom Caucus flexed their muscle late Monday and demanded that the temporary spending bill run until Dec. 30.

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