Meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, President Trump said Wednesday he has no regrets about his decision to end the program giving illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age a reprieve from deportation.
Asked by a reporter before the meeting about his Tuesday announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, Trump replied: “No second thoughts.”
The administration argues then-President Obama didn’t have the authority to enact the DACA policy in 2012. Trump is now asking Congress to take up the issue.
The president on Wednesday welcomed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to the Oval Office for a meeting as lawmakers returned to Washington this week after their August recess.
“We have many, many things that are on the plate,” the president told reporters before the meeting. “Hopefully we can solve them in a rational way. And maybe we won’t be able to. We’ll probably know pretty much at the end of this meeting, or the meetings that we’ll be having over a short period of time.”
Trump listed Hurricane Irma and the issue of Congress voting to raise the debt limit as two topics he planned to discuss with lawmakers.
“There’s a new, and seems to be, record-breaking hurricane heading right toward Florida and Puerto Rico and other places,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens. We’ll know in a very short period of time. But it looks like it could be something that will be not good, believe me, not good.”
Speaking of the debt limit, which needs to be raised by Congress by October to avoid a default, the president said: “Our country has a lot of great assets and we have some liabilities that we have to work out, so we’ll see if we can do that.”
When a reporter asked Trump if he’s willing to support a three-month debt ceiling increase tied to funding for Hurricane Harvey relief, the president responded: “We’ll see.”
While Congress was on its August recess, the president suggested he might be willing to shut down the government in order to get funding in a spending bill to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
Vice President Mike Pence, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were also in attendance at the meeting.
In his remarks before the meeting, the president didn’t specifically mention tax reform, an issue his administration is working with Republicans on Capitol Hill in crafting a legislative package that lowers taxes.
Later Wednesday, the president is traveling to Bismarck, North Dakota, where he will participate in an event with workers from the energy sector to draw attention to his push for tax reform.