Graham urging Trump to reopen government for a few weeks

Lester Mason
January 14, 2019

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told the West Block's Mercedes Stephenson that the three-week shutdown is a grudge match symbolizing the bigger ideological fight between Republicans and Democrats, but warned the country will face serious economic harm if it doesn't end soon.

The House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill on Friday to ensure all government workers receive retroactive pay after the shutdown ends.

Terminal G security checkpoint of Miami International Airport, one of six, is deserted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 after it was forced to shut down due to a shortage of security agents.

'Most conservatives want it to be the last resort he would use, ' said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who speaks to Trump frequently.

Democrats have refused to give the president funds for his wall, sparking a partial government shutdown which has reached the longest in USA history.

Nonetheless, Trump insisted he had the right to declare an emergency if he chose to, and continued to insist there was a crisis at the border.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., called Graham's idea for a brief reopening of the government a "great place to start".

The president didn't elaborate on the reporter or the news program he had in mind while tweeting, but Washington Post's Philip Rucker identified himself as Trump's target.

We want this to end, there's no excuse for the shutdown, ' " Durbin said. Lawmakers adjourned for the weekend but will return to Washington on Monday. But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people.

The shutdown became the longest ever on Saturday as it entered its 22nd day. That ended when congressional Republicans agreed to a short-term funding bill for closed agencies that was later extended.

The last meeting between Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leaders ended with Trump walking out.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said money should be spent on border security but not on walls.

Since that meeting both sides have blamed each other.

Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in new border security funding, but none specifically for a wall.

Nearly half of the State Department employees in the USA and about one-quarter overseas have been furloughed during the shutdown.

Many Republicans doubt that the invocation of a national emergency would help their cause - likely influencing Trump's decision Friday to say he was holding off in order to give Democrats more time to strike a deal. I think the legislative route is the best way to go.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he encouraged Trump during a telephone conversation Sunday to reopen government for a period of weeks to try to negotiate a deal with Democrats that would break the impasse.

Some Republicans on Sunday called for Trump to continue negotiating with Democrats rather than seek to declare a national emergency.

Trump also shared on Saturday that should the Democrats change their mind about funding the border wall, the shutdown could end in a matter of minutes.

The standoff has turned into a test of political ego, particularly for Trump, who came into office boasting of his deal-making powers and making an aggressive border policy the keystone of his nationalist agenda.

Other possibilities included tapping asset forfeiture funds, such as money seized from drug kingpins, according to a congressional Republican. Nine of 15 cabinet-level departments were not funded.

Mr Trump fired off a series of tweets pushing back against the notion that he does not have a strategy to end what became the longest government shutdown in U.S. history when it entered its 22nd day on Saturday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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