President Donald Trump just can’t quit House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Less than one week after Trump ripped the Democratic congressional leaders as “weak” after they canceled a meeting with him, Pelosi and Schumer said Monday that the president had asked them back to the White House for a sit-down Thursday, and that they’d accepted his invitation.
“We’re glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting," the Democrats 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."
Pelosi and Schumer said Republican leaders would also attend Thursday's meeting, at which they would all discuss “the year-end agenda,” which includes how to keep the government open past Friday, when funding is set to run out.
The invitation from Trump comes just six days after he exchanged barbs with “Chuck and Nancy” for their decision to opt out of a planned meeting at the White House following his pre-emptive attack on Twitter.
Last Tuesday, sitting between two conspicuously empty chairs, Trump ripped the pair as “all talk and they've been no action” and blasted them as “"weak" on crime and immigration. Later, Pelosi blasted Trump for the empty chair "photo op" and said his "verbal abuse" wouldn't be tolerated.
But now, only four days remain until government funding is slated to run out, party leaders will have to resolve major differences if they want to reach a deal to keep the government open.
Democrats have said any new deal with the GOP must include an agreement on child health insurance 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.
CORRECTION (Dec. 4, 2017, 4:53 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the title of Nancy Pelosi. She is the House Minority Leader, not House Speaker.