"We believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,"
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. | Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders sparred throughout the day Tuesday, complicating already-difficult efforts to avert a government shutdown next week.
The fight began early with Trump launching a broadside against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Twitter. By day’s end, Trump and Schumer were each predicting the other would be blamed if the government shut down.
Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that Pelosi and Schumer "want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes," adding, "I don’t see a deal!"
The Democratic leaders responded by canceling their plans to meet with Trump and GOP leaders at the White House to discuss a deal to keep the government open.
"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," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. "If the President, who already said earlier this year that ‘our country needs a good shutdown,’ isn’t interested in addressing the difficult year end agenda, we’ll work with those Republicans who are, as we did in April."
Schumer and Pelosi said they asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to meet Tuesday afternoon instead, a request the GOP leaders rebuffed.
"Democrats are putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics," McConnell and Ryan said in a statement. "There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there."