Top Democrats snub Trump meeting after chairwoman says ‘I don’t consider a deal’

Pelosi and Schumer to deal immediately with Republican in bid to avert government shutdown, after chairwomen tweet indicated he was not willing to negotiate

Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said they would boycott a meeting between congressional leaders and Donald Trump after the president said ” I don’t see a bargain”, indicating he would not negotiate with them on spending, healthcare and immigration.

In a statement, the two Democratic leaders said that instead of meeting the president, they intended to negotiate immediately with their Republican counterparts in an attempt to avert a government shutdown next month.

Schumer and Pelosi said:” Given that the president doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue enter into negotiations with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead.

” Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won’t result in an agreement, we’ve asked Leader[ Mitch] McConnell and Speaker[ Paul] Ryan to meet this afternoon. We don’t have any time to garbage 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 .”

Their decision not to attend the meeting followed a morning tweet from the president 😛 TAGEND

Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump)

Meeting with” Chuck and Nancy” today about maintaining 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 bargain!

November 28, 2017

But Republican leaders McConnell and Ryan rejected the Democrats’ offer and challenged them to attend the White House meeting if they wished to negotiate over a spending plan.

” We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually discovered new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues ,” the two Republicans said in a statement.” Democrats are putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics. There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrat want to reach an agreement, they will be there .”

The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, echoed that, saying the meeting would proceed as scheduled with McConnell and Ryan.” The president’s invitation to the Democrat leaders still stands and he encourages them to put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, show up and get to work ,” Sanders said.

The meeting between Trump and the Congressional leaders was intended to discuss the year-end expending bill to keep the federal government running and avert a shutdown.

The last day the leaders met with Trump to discuss government spending earlier this year, he unexpectedly sided with” Chuck and Nancy”, infuriating Republicans.

He and the Democrats made a deal to increase the debt limit and finance the government through early December in an effort to avert both governments shutdown. That deadline is now coming up.

Tax test

Meanwhile, Trump faces a critical test of his ability to persuade Senate Republicans to rally behind a taxation overhaul that would largely benefit America’s highest earners. A handful of GOP senators threaten to derail the effort and deprive the president of what would be his first major legislative success.

Behind the scenes, GOP leaders are frantically tweaking the scheme in a hurried attempt to win over the Republican holdouts and pass tax reform by Christmas.

At least a half-dozen Republican senators have expressed concerns about various aspects of the bill including the way in which small businesses are taxed and whether the cost of health insurance will rise.

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Trump will attempt to rally Republican around his taxation overhaul plan. After he departs, the Senate budget committee, upon which Republicans hold a one-seat majority, is expected to vote on the proposal.

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican on the committee on conferences, indicated on Monday that he would vote against the policy measures if his concerns over how the plan treats certain industries known as” pass-through entities” were not addressed. A failure to clear the vote in committee could force leaders back to the drawing board and delay the swift timeline set for the plan’s approval.

Susan Collins of Maine- whose opponent helped sink Republican repeal of Obamacare- opposes the provision to completely eliminate the estate tax and has suggested including the removal of the Obamacare individual mandate is a mistake.Deficit hawks like Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, frequent critics of the president, are wary because the tax plan will create the federal deficit.

But on Monday, Republican sounded confident they would have the votes to pass tax reform by the end of the week.

McConnell said on Tuesday:” We’re working hard to get it across the finishing line this week .”

Senator John Cornyn, the majority lash, predicted a “great victory” subsequently this week.

” Unlike the debate and elections we had on healthcare, every single member of the Republican conference is working to get at yes ,” Cornyn said.

The final shape of the Republican plan “re a long way from” certain. Republicans, who control the chamber with a slim 52 -4 8 majority, was simply afford to lose two referendums to pass the bill without Democratic supporting. In the event of a tie-in, Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote.

They are utilizing a special budget process known as reconciliation that would bypass a filibuster if Democrats refuse to support the plan. Democrats, who have largely been excluded from the crafting of the tax scheme, say the overhaul helps merely the wealthiest Americans.

Trump had been trying to woo a handful of moderate Democrat who hail from conservative states, including senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

But on Tuesday, those Democrats held a press conference with more than a dozen of their colleagues recommending Republicans to abandon their taxation scheme and work with them on legislation they say would benefit the middle class and not the rich.

Yet when pressed on how they would vote, Manchin, Donnelly and Heitkamp did not rule in supporting the tax proposal.

” It’s unfair to ask that question ,” Heitkamp said.” It’s still a moving target .”

The House passed its own version of the tax overhaul earlier this month, without a single hearing on the more than 400 pages of legislation that would cut the corporate tax rates from 35% to 20% and condense the number of tax brackets from seven to four.

Republican leaders in both chambers are determined to pass tax reform by the end of the year, after repeated failures to repeal the healthcare statute. If the Senate passes their taxation scheme, House Republican will probably come under pressure to approve the proposal. Alternatively, there would be a conference to reconcile the different plans.

A report released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Republican taxation scheme would hurt Americans earning less than $30,000 while benefiting the highest earners. A report by the joint committee members taxation also found that the rich would be the biggest recipients under the plan.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ivanka Trump plugged her father’s taxation plan on a two-day trip to India.

Trump told a crowd of business leaders and entrepreneurs that her father’s administration was ” laser-focused on happen long-overdue tax cuts”, which she said would deliver much-needed relief to working families and American business” of all sizes “.

Additional reporting by Michael Safi

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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