The top Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives have said they will now meet with Donald Trump – after dramatically cancelling their scheduled White House powwow last week.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the leaders of the House and Senate respectively, pulled out of their original meeting with Mr Trump and Republican leaders following the President’s declaration he didn’t see the White House being able to reach a deal with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.
“We’re glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting,” Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer said in a joint statement. “We hope the President will go into this meeting with an open mind, rather than deciding that an agreement can’t be reached beforehand.”
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.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are also expected to be in attendance at the meeting. Both attended last week’s rendezvous with Mr Trump, who has theatrically seated between two empty chairs labelled for Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi.
The meeting is planned for Thursday – one day before the 8 December deadline to fund the government. If a bipartisan agreement can’t be reached, a shutdown may be eminent.
House Republican leadership is currently working on passing a two-week short-term spending bill – a plan that Senate Republican leadership is expected to get on board with.