Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced on Tuesday that they will pull out of a White House meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss government funding for the next fiscal year after Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that he does not “see a deal.”
Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement on Tuesday:
Given that the President doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe that the best path forward is to continue with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead. Rather than going to the White House for a show that won’t result in an agreement, we’ve asked Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to meet this afternoon. We don’t have any time to waste in addressing the issue confronting us, so we’re going to continue to negotiate with Republican leaders who may be interested in reaching a bipartisan agreement.
If the President, who already said earlier this year that ‘our country needs a good shutdown,’ isn’t interested in addressing the difficult year-end agenda, we’ll work with those Republicans who are, as we did in April. We look forward to continuing to work in good faith, as we have been for the last month, with our Republican colleagues in Congress to do just that.
Rather than discuss a potential deal with President Donald Trump, which may include legislation to grant amnesty to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), illegal immigrants, and other key spending programs, Schumer and Pelosi suggested they would rather negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
McConnell and Ryan said in a joint statement, “We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues. Democrats are putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics. There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stated:
It’s disappointing that Sen. Schumer and Leader Pelosi are refusing to come to the table and discuss urgent issues.
The president’s invitation to the Democrat leaders still stands, and he encourages them to put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, show up, and get to work. These issues are too important.
The meeting will proceed as scheduled with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, and administration officials who are committed to getting things done. If the Democrats believe the American people deserve action on these critical year-end issues as we do, they should attend.
Government funding ends on December 8; however, many pundits believe that Congress will deal with funding the government sometime before the Christmas break.
Trump will meet with Republican senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss the tax reform legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Senate Republicans hope to vote on the bill this week; however, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have yet to signal whether they plan to vote for the tax reform legislation.
President Trump tweeted this morning, “Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”:
Meeting with “Chuck and Nancy” today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017