Border Wall Stalemate Stretches Government Shutdown to 24 Days
Trump Nixes Graham Plan to End Shutdown Extending to Day 24
President Donald Trump dismissed a top Republican senator’s suggestion to reopen the federal government temporarily and try to reach a deal to fund his proposed border wall as the partial shutdown entered its 24th day.
“I did reject it,” Trump told reporters Monday as he prepared to travel to New Orleans for the American Farm Bureau’s 100th Annual Convention. “I want to get it solved,” he added and not just “delay.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, an ally of the president, said he’d like Trump to reopen the federal government on a temporary basis to see whether a deal on the U.S.-Mexico border wall could be reached with congressional Democrats and declare a national emergency if not.
“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,” Graham, a Republican of South Carolina who has called on Trump to invoke emergency action, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “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. That’s my recommendation.”
Trump also said Monday that he’s “not looking to do that” regarding declaring a national emergency and that Republicans are “rock solid” behind him.
The shutdown entered a record 24th day Monday, after some 800,000 federal workers missed their first paychecks last week. A security checkpoint at Houston’s main airport closed Sunday in a sign of widening impacts of the shutdown.
Trump and Democrats remain far apart as the White House demands funding to fill the president’s campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump had said Mexico would pay for the wall but is now asking for money from U.S. taxpayers.
Democrats and a majority of Americans in public opinion polls oppose the building of a wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the barrier "immoral."
Talks ground to a halt last week after Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders and renewed threats to bypass Congress by declaring a national emergency to fund construction of a steel fence at the border.
Polls published Sunday by the Washington Post/ABC and by CNN show that by a wide margin, more Americans hold Trump accountable for the shutdown than Democrats. The president spent the weekend at the White House, where he complained repeatedly on Twitter that Democrats weren’t in Washington to negotiate with him and accused undocumented immigrants of committing crimes including child abuse.