President Donald Trump has invited a group of Democratic senators from largely Republican states to join him in the White House for lunch Thursday, in a likely attempt to make inroads with the opposition party, according to USA Today.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly received the invitation on Tuesday, just after the contentious confirmation of Trump's Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. USA Today received confirmation of the invitations from three congressional aides and one White House official, who said several Republicans were also invited.
Trump said in the invitation that he hopes to discuss "judicial issues," likely meaning he's testing Democratic opposition to his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, who Dems are unlikely to support.
"His nomination comes at a perilous time in the relationship between the executive and judicial branches," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. "President Trump has shown a deep contempt for an independent judiciary that doesn't always bow before him. It is more important than ever that the Supreme Court be prepared to serve as a check" on executive power.
A recent poll from Politico/Morning Consult shows that barely a third of Democrats want the party's elected officials to work with Trump. The majority of Democrats want their leaders to remain principled, even "if that means blocking all legislation or nominees for government posts."
"There was talk after the election that Trump might be a president who Democrats could work with, at least on certain issues like infrastructure. But this new data indicates that, even if deals are possible, that's not primarily what Democratic voters are looking for," Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult Chief Research Officer and co-founder, told Politico.
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