Schumer, Pelosi Say They Won’t Attend ‘Show Meeting’ With Trump

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 02: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to voice opposition to the Republicans' tax reform plan on November 2, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday said they will not attend a “show meeting” at the White House after President Donald Trump blasted them on Twitter.

“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,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Trump is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders Tuesday afternoon to work on a deal to pass a bill that would fund the government and prevent a shutdown early in December. He blasted “Chuck and Nancy” in an early morning tweet the Democratic leaders cited.

“I don’t see a deal!” Trump posted.

“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,” Schumer and Pelosi said.

The Democratic leaders said they “don’t have any time to waste.”

“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, as we did in April,” they said. “We look forward to continuing to work in good faith, as we have been for the last month, with our Republican colleagues in Congress to do just that.”

In a joint statement, Ryan and McConnell fired back and issued an ultimatum.

The Republican leaders said that Democratic lawmakers are “putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics.”

“We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues,” they said. “There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Schumer’s and Pelosi’s refusal to come to the meeting was “disappointing.”

“The President’s invitation to the Democrat leaders still stands and he encourages them to put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, show up and get to work,” she said.

Sanders said the meeting “will proceed as scheduled with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell and administration officials.”

“If the Democrats believe the American people deserve action on these critical year-end issues as we do, they should attend,” she said.

Correction: This post originally identified House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the House majority leader. The House majority leader is Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). We regret the error.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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