White House to meet with Hill leadership on 2018 agenda

(ABC News) — President Trump is dispatching his top aides to the Hill Wednesday for talks with leadership about his 2018 legislative agenda.

Congressional leaders are scheduled to meet with White House officials in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to discuss the congressional agenda, according to Hill aides.

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short will represent the president, a White House official told ABC News.

The group will come together to discuss priorities for the next few months, with McConnell and Ryan set to meet separately with the president at Camp David over the weekend.

Late last month the president scored his first major legislative victory with his massive tax overhaul bill, but thornier agenda items are on the horizon, along with a government funding deadline of Jan. 19.

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During his 11-day holiday vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump drew a line in the sand on legal protections for nearly 800,000 so-called DREAMers, saying that any deal regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be contingent on funding a border wall and ending “chain migration.”

Democrats have shown no movement on signing off on any funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and accused the president of playing politics with the lives of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers. Trump has said he would not let the program expire without giving some protection to DACA recipients at risk of deportation.

Another major issue is a renewal of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or “CHIP,” for the children of working mothers who make too much money to be covered by Medicaid but earn too little to afford other insurance coverage. Congress passed a short-term measure funding the program through March, but the White House and congressional leaders have said they hope to address a longer-term funding measure in January.

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The president is also hoping for a legislative win with a massive infrastructure project, which could earn him bipartisan support.

After signing the tax bill, Trump told reporters he saved infrastructure because he believed it would be the “easiest of all,” though several Democrats have said the $200 billion proposal put forward by the White House falls short of the country’s actual needs.

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