Schumer: 'Great progress' in funding talks before Trump tweet

Joy Montgomery
December 3, 2017

Come to the White House, said Republican leaders in a statement to Democrats. "If the Democrats want a shutdown, they're making a mistake".

His tweet about them on Tuesday helped allay concerns among some Republicans that he might use the meeting to negotiate with Democrats — without significant GOP input — on a budget deal or to protect immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children and whose protected status is set to lapse next year.

"I think we should avoid a shutdown at all cost", said Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

With few other levers of power, Democrats are under pressure from their core voters to extract as many concessions as they can.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on November 28 said President Trump "doesn't indicate he is serious".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on November 28 said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are showing a "lack of seriousness" by declining to attend a meeting with President Trump. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) earlier declined to meet with Trump.

While it was unlikely the missile fired in the early hours of Wednesday could yet carry a nuclear payload, the missile itself probably had the capability of reaching the U.S. capital, or anywhere else in the country, said David Wright, co-director of the global security programme at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Next, it was Senate Democratic leadership's turn to get in front of the cameras and spin their side.

"We don't have any time to waste in addressing the issues that confront us, so we're going to continue to negotiate with Republican leaders who may be interested in reaching a bipartisan agreement", according to their statement. "We have a lot of differences", Trump said of Schumer and Pelosi. "That strikes me as a lack of seriousness about the matter before us".

How this increases the potential for a shutdown: Democrats have boxed themselves into a corner (well, they would argue Trump pushed them into a corner).

While it was far from the first time that Trump's tweets and broadsides have been used to deflect attention, they nonetheless offered fresh evidence of the president's tendency to latch on to particular cultural touchstones and refuse to let them go. But what happens next?

Pelosi and Schumer are resisting the tax cuts and will look to work with several Republican lawmakers who have been critical of Trump and tax reform plans that they argue do little for small business, an issue that is seen as critical to the GOP's prospects at 2018 mid-term elections. Or will they vote against it and shut down the government?

The other reason why this is a bad move for the Democrats is that there's no lock on who will take the blame if a shutdown occurs. If it happens, it's going to be over illegals coming into the country, crime pouring into the country, no border wall, which everyone wants-I got elected partially because of the border wall.

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