NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump says Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “decided not to show up” for a planned meeting to discuss the budget Tuesday.
Trump visited the Capitol to rally Senate Republicans on tax reform, which he predicts will pass.
The president accused Democratic leaders of being “all talk” and “no action.”
Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday, “Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”
In response to that tweet, Schumer and Pelosi abruptly cancelled their meeting with the president scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to discuss funding the government beyond the Dec. 8 shutdown deadline.
“The president said, ‘I don’t see a deal,’ three hours before our meeting, before he heard anything we had to say,” Schumer said.
The president said the gravity of the news about North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch might change the minds of Democratic leaders.
“I think that will have a huge effect on Schumer and Pelosi, I think. We’ll see, we’ll learn very soon,” he said.
Trump is still seeking his first marquee win in Congress, but the White House and top GOP leaders have work to do to get their tax bill in shape.
The president attended lunch with Senate Republicans on Tuesday to personally lobby them to pass the tax overhaul bill.
Trump said the GOP plan was in a “very good position” after the Senate Budget Committee passed the bill, which will go to the full Senate floor this week for a vote.
The plan was passed with the help of two Republican holdouts: Sen. Bob Corker, of Tennessee, and Sen. Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin. It’s unclear whether they will still support the bill in a floor vote.
“It goes now to the next step, and I think we’re going to get it passed. I think it’s going to pass and it’s going to be very popular,” Trump said. “It’s going to lots of adjustments before then.”
Senators with objects often give a ‘yes’ vote in committee in order to give the bill a full floor debate and perhaps work out differences, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
Small business may be a sticking point to getting the bill passed. Johnson and Sen. Steve Daines, of Montana, have already said they will not vote for the bill in its current form because they are concerned that small business owners are getting a worse deal than big companies.
GOP leaders held an event Tuesday morning highlighting the importance of tax reform for small businesses.
“Every small business group I can think of is on board with this comprehensive tax reform,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
At least seven Republican senators have not said how they’ll vote including Arizona’s Jeff Flake.
“My concern has been some of the phase outs and gimmicks that typically come into a bill like this and addressing some of those and we’re working on it,” Flake said.
The bill already is projected to add $1.4 trillion to the deficit. Republican deficit hawks are considering a trigger that automatically increases taxes if the bill fails to generate as much revenue as expected.