Schumer and Pelosi will meet with Trump after canceling previous meeting

Key Points
  • Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will go to the White House on Thursday to meet about year-end legislative priorities.
  • Congress needs to pass a funding bill to avert a government shutdown.
  • The Democratic leaders canceled a previous meeting after President Donald Trump tweeted that he did not see himself striking a deal with them.
Democratic leadership to attend meeting at White House this week
Democratic leadership to attend meeting at White House this week

President Donald Trump is giving "Chuck and Nancy" another shot.

Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on Monday said they accepted the president's invitation to meet about year-end legislative priorities. The pair will meet with Trump, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, on Thursday.

The Democratic leaders canceled another meeting late last month after Trump tweeted that he does not "see a deal" with "Chuck and Nancy" to avoid a government shutdown. The White House and McConnell and Ryan accused the Democrats of grandstanding.

While meeting with McConnell and Ryan later that day, Trump left two chairs empty with Schumer's and Pelosi's names in front of them.

President Donald Trump (C) makes a statement from the Roosevelt Room next to the empty chairs of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (L), D-New York, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R), D-California, after they cancelled their meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2017.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

On Monday, Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement that they hope Trump will "go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can't be reached beforehand."

The deadline to pass a funding measure and keep the government open is Friday. Lawmakers are likely to pass a plan that keeps the government open for only a few weeks while they work to strike a long-term deal.

"We need to reach a budget agreement that equally boosts funds for our military and key priorities here at home including the opioid crisis, pension plans and rural infrastructure," Schumer and Pelosi said. "We have to provide funding for community health centers and CHIP, as well as relief for the millions of Americans still reeling from natural disasters. And we must also come together on a bipartisan deal to pass the DREAM Act along with tough border security measures. There is a bipartisan path forward on all of these items."

Sennate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) (D-NY) speaks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Getty Images

Passing legal protections for the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program may prove to be a sticking point in the negotiations. Trump ended the program in September with a six-month delay to encourage congressional action.

It remains to be seen if the White House will seek border protection requirements as part of a DACA deal that Democrats would be willing to accept.