Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Top Dems call off sit-down with Trump after 'Chuck and Nancy' tweet

Top Democrats pull out of White House meeting after Trump tweet Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi Cancel Donald Trump “Waste Of Time” Meeting After Tweet Taunt
Angelo Anderson | 03 December, 2017, 00:54

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that he was not hopeful about a deal with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown in December. "Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won't result in an agreement, we've asked Leader [Mitch] McConnell and Speaker [Paul] Ryan to meet this afternoon".

The Democratic leaders, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, responded to the president's provocations by pulling out of a scheduled White House meeting meant to address the thorny issues that lawmakers are facing as the end of the year approaches.

The White House put out a statement on the canceled meeting, calling Schumer and Pelosi's decision "disappointing".

"If the president, who already said earlier this year that 'our country needs a good shutdown, ' isn't interested in addressing the hard year end agenda, we'll work with those Republicans who are, as we did in April", the top Democrats said.

Mr. Trump, though, said he won't hesitate to blame Democrats for a shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on November 28 said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are showing a "lack of seriousness" by declining to attend a meeting with President Trump. "I think that will have a huge effect on Schumer and Pelosi. I don't see a deal".

But the president's extraneous tweets and quips have diverted attention from Trump's agenda at a time of maximum effect for his tax proposal and with a series of looming budget deadlines and other priorities in Congress. Wednesday's tweets came hours before Trump was departing for Missouri to rally support for his tax plan in the Senate.

The president lashed out at Democratic Sen. Claire Mc Caskill, a Missouri lawmaker who opposes the Republican tax reform plan

All the more remarkable was the change in tone from just a few months ago.

Despite Schumer and Pelosi's absence, Trump seemed optimistic that the GOP's disaster of a tax reform bill will pass the Senate vote later this week.

The list of issues is longer than immigration, the border wall and health care. But to do so, party leaders need to come to a deal to lift strict caps on spending that were imposed in 2011. The Trump administration and defense hawks in the Pentagon want to raise defense spending to over $600 billion.

With few other levers of power, Democrats are under pressure from their core voters to extract as many concessions as they can. And Democrats were seen as being more opposed to a possible shutdown than Republicans.

So far so good, because the polls show the so-called "Dreamers" and any government protection of them is extremely popular with the American people.

But Democrats' support for any modifications to the legislation would be conditioned on legislative protections for immigrants known as "Dreamers"(those who were brought to the U.S. illegally when still children and who have stayed since) while some conservative Republicans have objections. Unless Congress provides more money, states will have to freeze enrollment or start shutting down the program, which serves more than eight million children.

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