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Trump left two empty seats for Schumer and Pelosi in the Roosevelt Room after they skipped the last bipartisan meeting. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are headed to the White House Thursday for a bipartisan meeting with Republican leaders and President Trump. They accepted Trump's second invitation to meet after declining the first on Nov. 28.

The backdrop: Schumer and Pelosi skipped the first meeting after Trump tweeted that he didn't "see a deal" with them and called them "weak on crime" and "weak on illegal immigration." Monday, they said, "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 full statement:

"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.

"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. 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.

"As negotiations with our Republican counterparts continue, we are hopeful the President will be open to an agreement to address the urgent needs of the American people and keep government open."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.