Trump signals hard line against Democrats ahead of crucial talks over spending

Donald trump mcconnell schumer pelosi

Kevin Lamarque Reuters

I don't see a deal!

Tuesday President Donald Trump reacted to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) deciding to pull out of a meeting with the president and Republican leadership.

All of those issues are complicating negotiations to keep the government open past next week.

Trump met at the White House with Ryan and McConnell, where he was upbeat about the prospects for the tax bill.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the decision by Pelosi and Schumer "disappointing".

The White House didn't release an agenda for the meeting, but the upcoming budget deadline probably would've been up for discussion. The meeting yielded an agreement that set up a short-term spending agreement - allowing Democrats to crow about how they maintained their negotiating leverage and Republicans to use the ensuing months to work on a bigger priority, tax reform.

The bill permanently slashes corporate tax rates and temporarily reduces many individual tax rates, but Democrats charge that it does little to help working and middle class voters in the long term and represents a huge giveaway to Trump's rich friends.

Schumer and Pelosi skipped the meeting because they argued that it was pointless after Trump wrote in a tweet that they wanted to see high taxes, immigrants pouring into the country and were weak on crime.

That demand was swiftly rejected by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

They added, "we don't have any time to waste". "I don't see a deal!"

The top Senate Democrat warned that the President was inviting a "calamity" by declining to bargain over the terms of a funding for the government - which could run out of money by December 8. And if not, what will Republicans do to seek to avert a shutdown? It's not just the threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate but the affirmative need for Democratic votes in both House and Senate to make up for GOP defections on the right. If a new budget and spending plan is not passed by then, the government will shut down. The program expired on October 1, and states are continuing to use unspent funds.

In a joint statement, Ryan and McConnell slammed Pelosi and Schumer, accusing the pair of "putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics". Shortly afterward, he told Pelosi and Schumer he would sign legislation protecting those immigrants, provided Democrats made concessions of their own on border security.

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