President Donald Trump and top congressional leaders met Thursday to discuss avoiding a government shutdown before the deadline to fund the government ends over the weekend.
President Trump prompted Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to say a few words.
“It’s an honor to be here with the leaders from the Hill, sir. The number one priority for our country is to make certain we protect its Constitution and our way of life and have great bipartisan support and I am confident we’ll walk out of this with it,” Mattis said.
U.S. troops will not receive paychecks during a government shutdown.
“Nobody gets paid,” Mattis's Under Secretary of Defense David Norquist told Pentagon reporters, according to the Daily Caller.
Norquist explained troops will still earn their pay, but they will not receive their paychecks with the back pay included until after the government reopens.
“The administration hopes to find fiscally responsible ways to avoid a government shutdown, address the looming sequester and devastating cuts facing our military, as well as fund important domestic priorities that will encourage economic prosperity and keep Americans safe,” White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters said, according to USA Today.
The Democrats want Trump and the GOP, whose leadership was also in the meeting, to include a permanent solution for the 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients in any budget deal to fund the government past the Dec. 8 deadline.
“We hope that we're going to make some great progress for our country. I think that will happen,” Trump said, who previously placed the blame for a possible shutdown on Democrats.
“[H]elping our soldiers is very important and helping average citizens is very important,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told President Trump in the meeting, according to USA Today.
He added, “We’re here in the spirit of 'let's get it done.'”