Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that President Donald Trump should agree to reopen the government and continue trying to hammer out a deal with Democrats on funding his long-promised border wall – but that the president should declare a national emergency if no progress is made in three weeks.
In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham maintained that Trump is not going to give up on his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
But he argued that reopening the government and attempting to find a legislative solution, then declaring a national emergency if those talks don’t bear fruit, is the best way forward.
“I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug. See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers,” Graham said.
Waiting three weeks would take the negotiations past Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.
Trump continued making his case for the wall in Sunday morning tweets, arguing that it “will bring down the crime rate throughout the entire Country!” He again sought to blame Democrats, who he said were “everywhere but Washington as people await their pay.”
“I’m in the White House, waiting,” Trump said, accusing Democrats of “having fun and not even talking!”
As pressure to end the shutdown continues to mount, some Democrats have begun urging Senate Republicans to take up House-passed legislation to reopen the government, regardless of whether the president agrees.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Felicia Sonmez, Cat Zakrzewski ·