National / Politics

Sources say Trump, Hill leaders to meet next Wednesday

In this photo taken Aug. 28, 2017, President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Congressional aides say President Donald Trump will meet House and Senate leaders at the White House next week, as lawmakers return from an August break and plunge into a daunting pile of work. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will meet next week with House and Senate leaders at the White House, congressional aides said Wednesday, as lawmakers return from August break to face a pile of legislative bills they must tackle and pursue a goal that Trump and Republicans covet: Tax cuts.

The meeting follows a recess that has seen Trump lambast several top Republicans, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after the collapse of the GOP health care bill in his chamber. That has wounded the president’s relationship with his own party, and the coming weeks should offer a test of how much clout he has with fellow Republicans.

McConnell is scheduled to attend next Wednesday morning’s White House meeting. Also going are House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Following the crash of their health care bill, most Republicans — including Trump — want to move on to a sweeping revamp of the tax code. Their goal is to include a reduction in rates for businesses and individuals while not reducing federal deficits — a difficult balancing act.

Like the push to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law, that effort is likely to encounter strong Democratic opposition and divisions among Republicans, leaving its fate uncertain. Trump planned to deliver a speech later Wednesday promoting the effort.

Harvey added a new item to lawmakers’ must-do list. The massive, ongoing flooding means that officials still don’t know how much aid the metropolis will need to recover, but it’s expected to be many billions of dollars.

By late September, lawmakers will have to pass one bill preventing a first-ever federal default, which would likely jar the economy. They also must pass another bill by September’s end averting a government shutdown.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose a meeting that hadn’t yet been announced.