House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) released a joint statement on Monday accepting President Donald Trump's second invitation to the White House after they previously canceled on him last-minute.
Pelosi and Schumer accepted the president's invitation less than a week after they canceled their first White House meeting in response to his tweet calling them "weak on crime" and suggesting that he could not "see a deal" between Republicans and Democrats to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown.
Meeting with "Chuck and Nancy" today about keeping government open and working. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
"We're glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. "We hope the president will go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can't be reached beforehand."
The Democratic leaders went on to say Congress needs to reach a budget agreement that boosts funds for the military and key priorities at home "including the opioid crisis, pension plans, and rural infrastructure."
"We have to provide funding for community health centers and CHIP [Children's Health Insurance Programs], as well as relief for the millions of Americans still reeling from natural disasters," they added. "And we must also come together on a bipartisan deal to pass the Dream Act along with tough border security measures. There is a bipartisan path forward on all of these items."
After Pelosi and Schumer canceled their meeting with Trump last week, the president went on with the regularly scheduled meeting, placing an empty chair on either side of him for both Democratic leaders. He then blasted the pair as "all talk" and "no action," and said they are "weak" on crime and immigration, NBC News reported Monday.
But now, only four days remain until government funding is slated to run out, and if party leaders want to reach a deal to keep the government open, they'll have to resolve major differences.
Democrats have said any new deal with the GOP must include an agreement on child health care and protections for Dreamers—the young, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. who were previously protected from deportation by DACA, an Obama-era program that Trump ended this summer. Trump, on the other hand, has remained steadfast in his desire to "build the wall," continuing his hard-line immigration stance.