In the wake of President Trump’s tweet that he didn’t see any possibility of a deal to avert a government shutdown, Democratic leaders of Congress cancelled a meeting with the president.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had planned to meet with President Trump on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a spending plan that would avoid a shutdown. This meeting was to include Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). But then Trump’s tweeted; “[T]hey want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”
The two Democrats, who want protection for Dreamers — young undocumented immigrants — to be included in any deal, responded by issuing a joint statement. It expressed their belief that the meeting was only for show, so they cancelled. Instead, they plan on negotiating directly with Ryan and McConnell.
“We don’t have any time to waste in addressing the issues that confront us,” the two said.
In response, McConnell and Ryan issued a joint statement of their own, stating that the Democratic leaders were making an excuse for avoiding to meet the president. They accused them of “putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk.”
The White House, through press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that the meeting would go on, with or without the Democrats.
“[S]top the political grandstanding, show up and get to work,” she said.
The Democratic leaders, though, stood firm, and Republicans cannot avoid a shutdown without some Democratic support, despite controlling the White House and both houses of Congress. Because of this, the president acceded to Democratic demands in September to avert a similar crises, and he may just have to do that again.