Government should reopen before emergency declared, Lindsey Graham says

Clay Curtis
January 14, 2019

Ms Pirro pressed Mr Trump on why he had yet to declare a national emergency.

An attempt Thursday by moderate Republican senators to broker a deal that would have traded immigration protections for undocumented "Dreamers" brought to the USA as children in return for wall money collapsed after Vice President Mike Pence rejected it.

Trump addresses the American Farm Bureau on Monday.

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday said that he had urged US President Donald Trump to end the government shutdown for a short period in order to negotiate a deal, but reported that Trump is "not going to give in" on his demands for cash to fund a border wall.

A predictable partisan divide shapes the blame game, with 85 per cent of Democrats citing Trump and Republicans as the cause and 68 per cent of Republicans pointing the finger at congressional Democrats. As for Independent voters, 53% of them blame the Republicans while only 23% of Independents blame the Democrats, and 17% blame both parties equally. A slight majority of Americans (54 per cent) oppose the idea, down from 63 per cent a year ago.

He tweeted Sunday that "The building of the Wall on the Southern Border will bring down the crime rate throughout the entire Country!"

Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, gestures while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 28, 2018.

But Trump has said that while he is interested in pursuing a broader overhaul of the immigration system, he first wants to hear what the Supreme Court has to say about the group of immigrants known as "Dreamers".

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A CNN poll found that 55 percent believe Trump is more responsible for the shutdown than Democrats in Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a leading Democratic negotiator, insists that Trump reopen the government first.

Sen. Richard Durbin of IL, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that centrist Senate Republicans who sought to broker a deal last week should step forward and make an appeal to their party's leader in the chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Instead, McConnell last week vowed to stand with Trump in the wall debate, after the president met with all Senate Republicans and pleaded for party unity behind his wall quest. However, two-thirds of Republicans would support the president's decision to use those powers.

Only in recent days has Trump begun describing the problem as "humanitarian", referring in a tweet Saturday to "a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border". "We can build the wall, but if we're not gonna do it in Congress. we need to let the president declare that emergency". Party leaders say they won't agree to fund any kind of wall or barrier between the U.S. and Mexico beyond what's already in place, and Trump insists he won't agree to reopen the government until the wall is funded. "They have to get together, forge a compromise, each side has to lose a little bit of face and we've got to get the government back open", he said.

"I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly", he told Fox in an interview late last Saturday.

Johnson also accused Democrats of minimizing what he called a "crisis" at a border.

"If the president was a private citizen, if he was back at the Trump Corporation, he'd be looking at what's going on in Washington and scratching his head". "As a candidate, this is what he talked about, and if there's any mandate he can claim from his election, it was better border security and keeping this nation safe". On Saturday, day 22, members of Congress were out of Washington, Donald Trump was unmoved in the White House, his border wall unbuilt, and around 800,000 federal workers were still without pay and facing mounting hardship.

Graham and Coons spoke on "Fox News Sunday".

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