Tags: chuck schumer | show meeting | spending bill

Schumer: 'Show Meeting' on Spending Bill a Waste of Time

Image: Schumer: 'Show Meeting' on Spending Bill a Waste of Time
(Tom Williams/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:17 PM

Congressional Democratic leaders opted to pull out of a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump to discuss a pending spending bill and the threat of a possible government shutdown because they believe it's better to continue negotiations with their Republican counterparts than to attend a "show meeting," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

"Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won't result in an agreement from a president who doesn't see a deal, we've asked [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell and [House] Speaker [Paul] Ryan to meet with us this afternoon," the New York Democrat said in comments on the Senate floor, while Republicans gathered at the White House for a lunch meeting with the president.

If Democrats and Republicans do not reach a spending deal by Dec. 8, the federal government could face a partial shutdown. Trump's meeting with the four Congressional leaders had been scheduled for 3 p.m.

Schumer said there is no time to waste in addressing the issues, so instead, he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will "negotiate with Republican leaders who may actually be interested in reaching a bipartisan agreement."

They pulled out of the meeting with Trump after he tweeted that their differences over immigration and tax police made it unlikely they would reach a deal preventing a government shutdown.

Pelosi and Schumer said in their joint statement that "given that the President doesn't see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead."

McConnell and Ryan also released a statement after their counterparts pulled out of the meeting, saying Pelosi and Schumer are finding "new excuses" not to meet with the administration to discuss the issues with the tax reform bill.

"We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues," they said in a statement to the media. "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 Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there."

Trump, however, already said this year that "our country needs a good shutdown,"pointed out Schumer.

"If the president isn't interested in addressing the difficult year agenda and wants to make the government shut down, we'll work with those Republicans who are interested in funding the government as we did in April," said Schumer.

The New York lawmaker said he and Pelosi are interested in sitting down with McConnell and Ryan to setting the matter in an "amicable way," like they did in April when Trump was not involved.

"Now on the tax bill, Mr. President, the Republican tax bill, we're only a few days away from a final vote," Schumer said.

From all reports, though, Republicans are still debating significant changes to the measure, including for a change to "pass-through provisions, [for] a gargantuan new tax loophole for individuals need to be widened even further," said Schumer.

More than 70 percent of such pass-throughs would go to the top one percent in the nation, though, and changes proposed will make that even worse, said Schumer.

"Help small business, yes," he said. "Don't open a giant loophole for wealthy hedge funds, big shop law firms, lobbyists. We don't need that."

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Congressional Democratic leaders opted to pull out of a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump to discuss a pending spending bill and the threat of a possible government shutdown because they believe it's better to continue negotiations with their Republican...
chuck schumer, show meeting, spending bill
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2017-17-28
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:17 PM
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