But the New York Democrat and the White House have been locked in a war of words about a potential deal after the president said on Twitter that he was meeting with "Chuck and Nancy" on keeping the government open but "I don't see a deal".
Trump left empty seats on either side of him, with name cards for Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, and Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives. They begged Mr. McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, to join them in direct negotiations without the president involved.
Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said it would be hard for Democrats to blame Republicans for a shutdown if they were the ones who walked away from talks with the president.
The White House responded by canceling its daily press briefing at the last minute and having President Trump address pool reporters with some vaguely reassuring promises to "handle" Pyongyang's nuclear threat before bitching about Democratic leadership.
"I don't see a deal!" the Republican president wrote on Twitter. Trump later said that Schumer and Pelosi had been "all talk" and "no action".
Pelosi and Schumer added they "don't have any time to waste" in addressing the issues on their agenda and would work with Republicans who are "interested in reaching bipartisan agreement".
"We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues", the two Republicans said. "They're weak on crime, they're weak on illegal immigration, they want the illegal folks to come pouring into our border - and a lot of problems are being caused, although we've stopped it to a large extent, as much as you can without the wall, which we're going to get".
Warren said following a protest outside the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday that Trump "seems to think that that's somehow going to shut me up", and prevent her from "talking about the tax bill that would favor giant corporations instead of working families".
But Democrats' support for any modifications to the legislation would be conditioned on legislative protections for immigrants known as "Dreamers"(those who were brought to the USA illegally when still children and who have stayed since) while some conservative Republicans have objections. "That strikes me as a lack of seriousness about the matter before us".
And declining to even meet with President Trump Tuesday doesn't look like something people truly wanting to avoid a shutdown would do, even if it comes after a provocative tweet.
First lady goes with classic, traditional Christmas decor
Trump has repeatedly taken shots at Obama for not wishing the country a "Merry Christmas", both before and after he took office. Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has been holding a competition for the official White House Blue Room tree.
Rush hour natural disaster shakes region
Significant damage does not typically occur with quakes of this size, and so far there are no reports of any injuries. The station also writes that Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the USGS, says there is potential for aftershocks.
Clemson leads college playoff pack, but Alabama is lurking
The system would rank Wisconsin and Clemson as No. 1 and No. 2 with Auburn, Georgia, and Alabama on the outside looking in. Looks like it, especially if Auburn wins the SEC , but it likely will require a loss by either Wisconsin or Oklahoma .