.. During the Oval Office meeting,
- Mr. Ryan,
- Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.),
- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) and
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
all pushed for a longer suspension of the debt limit increase, according to people briefed on the meeting, with Mr. Trump cutting off Mr. Mnuchin at one point... Republicans initially advocated for an 18-month extension, pushing the next vote on the debt limit until after next year’s midterm elections. When Democratic leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, rejected that, the GOP leaders suggested a six-month extension.
.. But privately, Senate Republican aides said the deal registered as a rebuke, following a stormy summer
.. Mr. Trump picked a sensitive subject on which to take his stand Wednesday. Republicans have made addressing debt and deficits a cornerstone of their governing philosophy.
.. “We very, very poorly deal with our finances and we’re heading ourselves into a fiscal crisis,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) told reporters Wednesday.
.. Mr. Sessions said he strongly preferred a longer time line for the debt limit and said the next vote in December would be harder. “He is new to the negotiation,” Mr. Sessions said of the president. “Experience teaches you that it’s not this vote that’s the hardest. The next one is.”
.. Democrats had said Wednesday that their offer was designed in part to maintain their leverage in other negotiations over issues including health care and Mr. Trump’s decision Tuesday to end after six months an Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children.
President Trump stunned Republicans on Wednesday when he sided with Democrats on a proposal to attach aid for Hurricane Harvey victims to measures to keep the government funded and its borrowing limit suspended until mid-December. Mr. Trump’s decision to ignore pleas from GOP congressional leaders upended the partisan alliances that have long set the boundaries of congressional policy-making—and is likely to inflame tensions with his fellow Republicans. It also raises the question of whether he will now turn to Democrats to reach deals on tax reform and immigration.