Top Democrats Pull Out Of Planned Meeting With Trump
Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET
That meeting between President Trump and the bipartisan leaders of Congress will not be bipartisan after all, since Democratic leaders suddenly pulled out of the planned Tuesday afternoon get-together at the White House.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, leader of the House Democrats, announced they would no longer take part after Trump tweeted he doesn't "see a deal" between Democrats and the White House over funding the government past Dec. 8, when current funding is set to expire.
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
The Democrats responded in a joint statement that rather than going to the White House for a "show meeting," they will continue to negotiate with Republican Congressional leaders to avert a government shutdown. Schumer tweeted:
https://twitter.com/SenSchumer/status/935547787227299840The statement from Schumer and Pelosi continued:
"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."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Democrats' decision "disappointing." In a statement, she continued, "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." Republican congressional leaders say they plan to meet with Trump with or without the Democrats. In their own joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said:
"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."