Top US Democratic leaders have accepted a White House invitation for a meeting with President Donald Trump over the government spending deal.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement that they would travel to the White House on December 7 for a face-to-face meeting with Trump and GOP leaders to discuss the temporary spending bill running out the next day and possibly leading to a government shutdown.
The two leaders said in the statement that the Trump administration needed to reach a deal to increase money for defense and domestic priorities.
“We’re glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting. 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 two Democrats said.
“We need to reach a budget agreement that equally boosts funds for our military and key priorities here at home including the opioid crisis, pension plans and rural infrastructure,” they noted.
“We have to provide funding for community health centers and Chip [the Children’s Health Insurance Program],” Schumer and Pelosi said. “As well as relief for the millions of Americans still reeling from natural disasters.”
The two leaders abruptly pulled out of the bipartisan meeting last week and asked for immediate talks with top Republican leaders instead after the US president attacked them on Twitter and said he did not “see a deal” to avoid a government shutdown.
Trump also accused Democrats of being soft on crime, taxes and illegal immigration.
Approval of the spending bill to fund the government will spare Trump a harmful government shutdown.
In 2013, a government shutdown sent almost 2 million federal workers home and led to massive economic disruptions. It also forced national parks to close and caused a delay in payments to millions of people working for the government.
Joined by a growing number of Republicans, Democrats also insist that the funding bill should include a long-term solution for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children.