The White House sent invitations to a bipartisan group of lawmakers for a meeting Tuesday afternoon aimed at finding a solution to ending the government shutdown — now in its 25th day as the longest in US history — but Democrats said they weren't going.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed no Democrats were expected to attend, listing instead nine Republican members of the House who will.
"Today, the President offered both Democrats and Republicans the chance to meet for lunch at the White House," Sanders said in a statement. "Unfortunately, no Democrats will attend. The President looks forward to having a working lunch with House Republicans to solve the border crisis and reopen the government. It's time for the Democrats to come to the table and make a deal."
About those invites: Several House Democrats who had been invited to the White House told CNN in advance of the meeting they had been given little to no information about what the meeting would entail and have either rejected the invite or wouldn't confirm whether they would attend.
The invitations did not all go out at once, but over the course of Monday night, and consisted of a three-line email asking only if the member would "attend lunch at the White House tomorrow, January 15 at 12:30 PM," according to a copy read to CNN. The email was sent on behalf of the President.