North Korea Launches Missile, Trump Attacks Schumer and Pelosi in Response

Top Democrats pull out of White House meeting after Trump tweet

The Democratic leaders, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, responded to the president's provocations by pulling out of a scheduled White House meeting meant to address the thorny issues that lawmakers are facing as the end of the year approaches.

"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", Schumer and Pelosi replied in a statement.

The Democrats and most of the news media will work hard to present any looming or actual shutdown as President Trump's and the Republicans' fault. They begged Mr. McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, to join them in direct negotiations without the president involved. "I don't see a deal!".

Despite Schumer and Pelosi's absence, Trump seemed optimistic that the GOP's disaster of a tax reform bill will pass the Senate vote later this week. "There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there". Schumer and Pelosi said they pulled out of the meeting because of a tweet Trump sent earlier in the day attacking them as weak on illegal immigration and bent on raising taxes.

But the war of words in public did little to secure the Democratic support that Mr. Trump and Republican leaders will ultimately need.

Pelosi responded to Trump's comments on Twitter, saying that his "verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated". Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The President's invitation to the Democrat leaders still stands, and he encourages them to put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, show up and get to work".

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Senate majority Mitch McConnell accused the two Democrats of "a lack of seriousness" about the federal government funding issue.

While it was unlikely the missile fired in the early hours of Wednesday could yet carry a nuclear payload, the missile itself probably had the capability of reaching the USA capital, or anywhere else in the country, said David Wright, co-director of the global security programme at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Congress has until December 8 to pass a spending bill to avert a government shutdown and Senate Republicans are expected to bring their tax bill to a vote this week. "These issues are far too serious for these kinds of games".

"I would absolutely blame Democrats if that happens", he said. If it happens, it's going to be over illegals coming into the country, crime pouring into the country, no border wall, which everyone wants-I got elected partially because of the border wall. We're going to learn very soon.

How this increases the potential for a shutdown: Trump's sticking on issues important to his base makes him less likely to compromise with Democrats, who want to advance polar opposite issues important to their base.

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