Trump to dine with Schumer, Pelosi

Last Updated Sep 13, 2017 3:35 PM EDT

President Trump will dine with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Wednesday night, Pelosi's office confirmed to CBS News.

The trio will discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act, legislation to protect Dreamers who came to the U.S. as children, and the fall deadlines, according to a source familiar with the invitation. The dinner is intended to follow up on discussions from last week's meeting about what needs to be accomplished before the year's end. 

Mr. Trump, who has long evidenced frustration with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has shown a willingness to work with Democrats of late. Last week, Mr. Trump shocked Republican leaders and even his own White House staff when he sided with Democrats over his own party to reach a debt ceiling deal. On Tuesday night, Mr. Trump dined with three Democratic senators in addition to three Republican senators as the administration tries to tackle tax reform. 

On Wednesday night, Pelosi and Schumer will push the president to protect Dreamers, after the administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects young immigrants and grants them work permits. Mr. Trump has laid responsibility for Dreamers' futures at the feet of Congress. Pelosi and Schumer will also urge the president to help stabilize health care markets, which face an uncertain future as Obamacare remains in place for now. Despite repeated attempts this year, Republicans have thus been unsuccessful in achieving a key piece of Mr. Trump's — and indeed, many Republicans' — campaign platform of repealing and replacing President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement. 

As Mr. Trump struggles to navigate the waters of negotiating with his own party, Pelosi credited the ties Schumer and Mr. Trump share as New Yorkers for their ability to strike a deal last week. 

"He could speak New York to the president," Pelosi explained.

Pelosi and Ryan will also meet Wednesday afternoon, as they look to the future of DACA. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr. Trump isn't looking to Pelosi and Schumer out of necessity.

"It's less about him needing them but more about the president wanting to work with them," Sanders told reporters in Wednesday's briefing. "We've got a very ambitious legislative agenda and the president wants to work with anybody that's willing to work with him. He welcomes these conversations." 

Sanders dismissed the notion that Mr. Trump is snubbing Republicans by excluding Ryan and McConnell from the meeting. 

"The president is the leader of Republican Party and was elected by Republicans," Sanders said. "The idea that Republican Party ideas are not represented in that room is ridiculous."

Sanders noted that Pence is also hosting another dinner at his home with other members of Congress.

Since the president's rift with Republicans doesn't appear to be repairing anytime soon and the administration looks to issues like tax reform, Mr. Trump is looking to Democrats for support. 

CBS News' John Nolen, Catherine Reynolds and Jillian Hughes contributed to this report. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.