The top Democratic leaders in Congress, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, abrubtly announced they would not attend a scheduled White House meeting on Tuesday after President Donald Trump said in a late morning tweet that a deal between the two major parties on budget issues wasn't likely.
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
In response, Pelosi and Schumer released a joint statement explaining their decision not to attend the meeting with Trump, though they would meet with the GOP's House and Senate leaders. "Given that the president doesn't see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead," the statement read. Specifically, and as referenced in Trump's tweet, part of the political battle is the Democrats' desire for a budget deal to include provisions that would protect undocumented U.S. residents who entered or were brought to the country as minors, also known as Dreamers.
Good for Schumer and Pelosi. If Trump isn't interested in reaching a deal to protect Dreamers and wants a shutdown, there's no reason to participate in a dog and pony show. https://t.co/whoSbY0laU
— Ezra TrumpTaxScam.org Levin (@ezralevin) November 28, 2017
On the Senate floor, Schumer later announced that he and Pelosi had reached out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to meet separately, but that invitation apparently did not receive a warm reception.
"There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon," responded McConnell and Ryan in a joint statement of their own. "If Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there."
The imbroglio sparked by Trump's tweet now increases the prospects of a possible government shutdown if a budget deal cannot be reached before a December 8 deadline.
The art of the deal: Trump blows up anti-shutdown negotiations before they even start https://t.co/NOTMjHBRUd
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 28, 2017