The two top Democrats in Congress abruptly canceled a planned White House meeting with Donald Trump on Tuesday in response to the president’s angry tweet expressing pessimism about their willingness to cut a deal that would keep the government running.
Trump threw shade at Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi hours earlier, calling them tax-hikers who are ‘weak’ on crime and favor the ‘unchecked’ admission of illegal immigrants into the United States.
And he wrote that he doesn’t ‘see a deal’ in the making.
Pelosi and Schumer effectively cut the president out of the conversation late on Tuesday morning, saying in a joint statement that ‘[g]iven 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.’
‘I don’t see a deal!’ with Democrats to keep the government running, President Donald Trump tweeted
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi abruptly canceled a budget- and tax-related meeting with Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying she won’t go to the White House after the president tweeted that he was pessimistic about cutting a deal across the aisle
Chuck Schumer (center), the Senate’s leading Democrat, is also boycotting Trump, essentially cutting the president out of buget negotiations
‘Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting 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 issues that confront us, so we’re going to continue to negotiate with Republican leaders who may be interested in reaching a bipartisan agreement.’
The White House told reporters late on Monday that Trump would meet with congressional leadership at 3:00 p.m. The administration wouldn’t immediately say whether Republicans will still attend.
Trump is also scheduled to speak with the Republican Senate Caucus at lunchtime.
Republicans have unified control of government, but leaders may need to rely on some Democratic votes to get a funding resolution passed.
Some Democrats are demanding a fix to help DREAMers who came to the U.S. illegally as immigrant children. The president rescinded their status but set a six-month deadline that ends in March to find a solution.
‘Meeting with “Chuck and Nancy” today about keeping government open and working,’ Trump tweeted. ‘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!’
President Trump tweeted about an upcoming meeting with Sen. Charles Schumer and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi
Trump may need help from ‘Chuck and Nancy,’ as he calls them, to bring a spending bill across the finish line and avoid a government shutdown for which Republicans would likely catch most of the blame
Trump used a similar attack on Doug Jones, the Alabama Senate candidate who is a former prosecutor and who helped put away two Ku Klux Klansmen who were charged with blowing up a Birmingham Baptist church in 1963.
‘The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!” Trump tweeted this past weekend.
Typically in recent years, even as government funding deadlines approach, presidents reassure financial markets and investors that the U.S. government will ultimately remain open and running.
The president may be trying to use the threat of a shutdown to try to gain negotiating leverage, although usually it is a minority party seeking concessions from the White House who is able to threaten to hold up government funding, rather than the head of the government.
Neither Pelosi nor Schumer are calling for tax hikes, though Democrats are resisting the $1.4 trillion tax cut that Trump called ‘tremendous’ on Monday.
Republican leaders trying to reach majority support for their tax cut must contend with another conservative who is raising objections, after Montana Sen. Steve Daines raised concerns about how it would affect ‘Main Street.’
With just a 52 seat majority, they can only afford three defections from their ranks.
Trump heads to the Capitol Tuesday afternoon to meet with the Republican conference about the tax cut, which could come to the floor for a vote as soon as Thursday.
One Republican senator, Ron Johnson of Ohio, has already said he is a ‘no’ on the bill because of the way it advantages corporations over so-called ‘pass-throughs,’ business who file as individuals and miss off on some of the savings in the bill.
Not happening again: Pelosi sat in the Oval Office in September as the White House negotiated hurricane relief funds and a hike in the nation’s borrowing limit
Trump has promised to ‘give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas’ but the politics are getting tough on Capitol Hill as Republicans defect
NOT THERE YET: Conservative Sen. Steve Daines has voiced concerns about the bill
Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (center-right) told reporters that he ‘hopes’ to have a tax relief plan on Trump’s desk by Christmas, and that he’s confident the GOP can find 50 votes to pass it
‘Sen. Daines has concerns with how the tax bill looks at main street versus large corporations,’ an aide to the senator said, The Hill reported. ‘The Senator wants changes to the tax cut bill that ensure main street businesses are not put at a competitive disadvantage against large corporations.’
Daines, a Budget Committee member, linked his support to the issue. ‘Before I can support this bill, this improvement needs to be made.’
A new Congressional Budget Office score estimates that “(t)he number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027′ under the bill due to its removal of an Obamacare individual mandate.
That provision has drawn criticism from Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, although it could get removed if needed to lock down enough votes.
Trump hailed the bill as ‘a tremendous tax cut’ and ‘the biggest tax reduction in the history of our country’ on Monday.
‘I think we’re going to have great receptivity. We’ve had great spirit,’ the president said.
‘And I can tell you, the Republican senators who are up, if we win we are going to get some Democratic senators who are joining us. If we don’t win they wont be joining us,’ he predicted.