After last week's snub, when Nanci Pelosi and Chuck Schumer pulled out of a meeting scheduled with Trump when the president tweeted that he was sitting down with "Chuck and Nancy" but that he didn't "see a deal", it appears that there has been no bad blood between the president and the top Democrats, because on Monday afternoon Chuck and Nancy said they would head to the White House on Thursday for end-of-the-year negotiations and avoiding a government shutdown this week.
“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 Democratic leaders said in a joint statement. They added that they "are hopeful the President will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open.”
In addition to the Democrats, top Republicans Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, who attended last week's meeting with Trump alone, are expected to be at Thursday's powwow.
The meeting is scheduled for one day before the Dec. 8 deadline to fund the government, which means that any potential complications could result in an abrupt - if temporary - government shutdown.
As reported previously, House GOP leadership is pushing forward with a plan to pass a two-week short-term spending bill as soon as Wednesday, the same as Senate GOP leadership which is also backing the two-week stopgap strategy.
Democrats have yet to take a position on passing a two-week "clean" continuing resolution. Since their votes will be needed to avoid a shutdown, Democrats will hold the leverage: in addition to a short-term deal, Schumer and Pelosi noted they also need to reach a budget agreement, as well as fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), pass more disaster relief aid and address a key Obama-era immigration program.
As part of their demands, the duo said that the funding deal must boost spending for military and domestic priorities equally, and also calls for bipartisan agreement on Dreamers along with border security measures.
This may be a problem, and another problem will the Freedom Caucus which as Politico's Jake Sherman reports, is getting itchy and "holding meeting before votes tonight as they opposed to gop leadership govt funding strategy."
NEWS- FREEDOM CAUCUS getting itchy. Holding meeting before votes tonight as they opposed to gop leadership govt funding strategy. pic.twitter.com/ptKsYrZeCc— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 4, 2017