President Donald Trump agreed to work with Democrats on securing protections for young undocumented immigrants Wednesday while hashing out a deal on border security with Democratic leaders who claim he agreed to "exclude the wall" along the United States-Mexico border.
Trump hosted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday evening to discuss immigration, border security and other legislative items.
In a joint statement, Schumer and Pelosi called the meeting "very productive" and said it focused mainly on the plight of the so-called Dreamers, nearly 800,000 young immigrants who are able to live and work in the U.S. legally under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump recently rescinded.
"We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that's acceptable to both sides," they said. One of Trump's major campaign promises was building a wall the entire length of the U.S.-Mexican border.
The White House, however, said a border wall exclusion was not part of the deal.
Shortly after the statement was released, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tweeted, "While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to."
Earlier, a White House official said the meeting was constructive and covered border security and the status of Dreamers, as well as infrastructure and trade, in addition to taxes.
"The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle," the official said.
In his meeting earlier on Wednesday with eight Democratic and five Republican House members, Trump had expressed hope he could bring a fresh bipartisanship to Washington.
Asked what his message was to skeptical conservatives who worry he is cozying up to Democrats, Trump said: "I'm a conservative, and I will tell you I'm not skeptical. And I think that if we can do things in a bipartisan manner, that'll be great. Now it might not work out."
Trump blindsided Republican leaders last week by striking a deal with Schumer and Pelosi on the U.S. debt limit and federal spending for three months.
Ryan said the outline being worked on now would reflect the consensus of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Trump administration.
"I would love to have the Democrats supporting and working with us in a constructive way on tax reform, but we're going to do it no matter what," Ryan said.
There has been no comprehensive U.S. tax code overhaul since 1986, and starkly different visions embraced by the two parties for how to move forward promise to make the task difficult.
Asked about Trump’s comment on a possible tax increase for the wealthy, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said: "My goal is to lower taxes on every American as much as possible and help them keep more of what they earn."