Congress’ top two Democrats canceled plans Tuesday to attend an Oval Office meeting after President Donald Trump tweeted that he could not envision a fiscal deal to avoid a government shutdown.
“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,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi 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.”
The White House meeting in the afternoon was to include the top Republican leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In response to the cancellation, Ryan and McConnell issued a joint statement accusing the Democratic leaders of “antics” and finding “new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the invitation “still stands, and [Trump] encourages them to put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, show up and get to work.”