US' Pelosi urges 'intervention' for Trump

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is at loggerheads with President Donald Trump.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is at loggerheads with President Donald Trump.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wished President Donald Trump's family or staff would conduct an "intervention" with him for the good of the country after he threw what she called a temper tantrum at a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders.

Trump fired back, questioning Pelosi's mental state by saying she has "lost it" while calling himself an "extremely stable genius."

As the fight intensified between the Republican president and the Democrats who control the House amid talk of impeachment, work on a two-year federal budget deal has ground to a near standstill.

Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2020, and Democratic leaders for a second straight day lobbed accusations and insults at each other after the collapse of an infrastructure deal that could have pumped $US2 trillion into the economy.

"Again, I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family, or his administration, or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country," Pelosi told reporters.

An "intervention" often refers to relatives, friends or co-workers confronting an individual struggling with a intractable problem.

Trump took aim at Pelosi.

"I've been watching her and I have been watching her for a long period of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it," Trump said during remarks about an aid package for farmers hit by the US-China trade war.

Pelosi also accused Trump of obstruction of justice, which she said could be an impeachable offence.

"The White House is just crying out for impeachment," Pelosi said, but added that "the House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment. And that's where he wants us to be."

Trump is stonewalling multiple congressional inquiries into him, his policies, family and business holdings, while Pelosi has worked hard to tamp down demands among some Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings.

On Tuesday, the four top Democratic and Republican congressional leaders reported progress toward a deal on setting federal spending levels for the next two years and raising the US Treasury Department's borrowing limit.

Without such a deal, the federal government faces the prospect of another round of shutdowns later this year.

Asked on Thursday if a deal on the budget or on the US debt would get done, Trump said, "We'll see what happens."

In a hopeful sign, House and Senate negotiators reached a deal on a $US19.1 billion disaster aid bill that has Trump's support, senators said on Thursday.

Policy chaos swept Washington on Wednesday when Trump walked out of a White House meeting with Democrats, saying he could not work with them on an infrastructure bill as long as lawmakers are investigating him.

Pelosi had earlier accused him of engaging in a "cover up" over investigations of Russia's meddling in the 2016 US elections and other matters.

Australian Associated Press