The meeting could mark the first look at where Trump stands -- and if he's willing to punt the fight over his border wall to the new year -- after days of GOP lawmakers and aides waiting for a signal from the White House on what path to pursue to as the clock ticks toward the December 21 funding deadline.
During a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House earlier this week, the President signaled he wouldn't budge on his number or even consider proposals that would extend funding for border security at current levels for the next fiscal year, raising fears that a deal may not materialize before funding for one-quarter of the government runs dry.
Sources say Republican negotiators have started tentatively crafting shorter-term options -- measures that maintain current funding levels through the holidays and set up the fight again almost immediately after Pelosi, the next expected House speaker, takes the gavel on January 3 or into February or March.
The meeting between President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was one of the more fascinating things to watch in real time that most aides CNN spoke to Tuesday had ever seen -- including those who are usually in the room for such meetings.
As CNN reported, they are looking to have the President's back and throw their Homeland Security appropriations bill -- which includes $5 billion for the border wall -- onto the floor, likely with some additional immigration restrictions, aides say.
But putting it on the floor and moving it to the Senate, where it will die (or watching it fail in the House) is a key piece of the legislative maneuvering that opens up pathways in negotiations.