With just a week left to reach a deal to fund the government, President Trump and Democratic leaders took turns this week asserting who the country would blame if there is a government shutdown.
Though congressional leaders said talks will continue, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) cancelled plans to attend a meeting at the White House Nov. 28 after Trump tweeted that he didn’t see a deal happening with Democrats because they are “weak on crime and want to substantially raise taxes.”
“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,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. “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.”
Trump held the meeting anyway, with McConnell and Ryan in attendance and two empty seats meant for Pelosi and Schumer. Trump said at the meeting that he and the American people would blame the Democrats if a government shutdown occurs.
“They’ve been all talk and they’ve been no action, and now it’s even worse,” Trump said of congressional Democrats. “Not it’s not even talk.”
Congressional Republicans are said to be leaning toward a short-term funding patch to fund the government through Dec. 22 to give appropriators more time to put together an omnibus spending package. The current funding bill expires Dec. 8.
McConnell and Ryan said Democrats are not helping to resolve funding issues 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,” McConnell and Ryan said in a statement.