Congressional Democrats have backed out of a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump, saying they will focus instead on negotiating directly with top Republican leaders to avoid a federal shutdown.
The decision by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to not meet with Trump came a few hours after he signaled in an early-morning tweet that he is unlikely to bend to requests by Democrats in talks over how much more money the federal government may spend in the coming years and on pressing concerns regarding immigration and health care.
Government funding is scheduled to dry up pon Dec. 8, and Republicans and Democrats are already floating the possibility of passing a short-term spending bill that wouldl push negotiations until just before Christmas.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
In response, Schumer and Pelosi said that “rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won’t result in an agreement,” they’ve asked to meet alone with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“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,” they said.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Ed O’Keefe, And Sean Sullivan