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Democrats accept second invitation to meet with Trump

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."

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