Winter Park’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy was invited to the White House today along with other moderate Democrats in Congress to talk with President Donald Trump about his proposal for a border wall but she said no, citing a schedule conflict.
Murphy is among a handful of Democrats being described as moderates or in swing districts that the White House scrambled Monday to invite to a quickly-arranged Tuesday lunch-hour meeting with Trump to talk about a deal for the wall and to re-open the federal government, which is now partially closed for the 25th day, according to a report on RollCall.com Tuesday morning.
Murphy’s office said she has a scheduling conflict, because the organizational meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee meeting, which is scheduled for noon. At that meeting, the committee will make subcommittee assignments.
Murphy issued a statement noting she has attended White House meetings with Trump before but the committee meeting makes it impossible this time. She also urged passage of the House bill pushed through by Democrats last week to re-open the government without including the wall.
Roll Call is reporting that at least one other Democrat turned down the meeting explicitly because he does not want to talk about the wall until the government is fully re-opened. That is U.S. Rep. Lou Correa of California.
“I have attended meetings with the President at the White House before, but a scheduling conflict prevented me from accepting this invitation,” Murphy said in her written statement. “However, I continue to believe the Senate should pass and the President should sign the bills reopening government that the House already passed. As a former national security specialist at the Pentagon, I look forward to having a meaningful, bipartisan discussion about the best way to secure our country.”
It is unclear which other Democrats were invited to the 12:30 p.m. meeting, and whether any have agreed to go. One source suggested the invite list appears to be a mix of moderate Democrats and those who can expect tough re-elections in 2020.
Murphy and Correa are co-chairs, along with Rep. Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, of the Blue Dog Coalition, with Murphy holding the first-among-equals position of co-chair for administration of the Blue Dogs.