Government should reopen before emergency declared, Lindsey Graham says

Donald Trump

Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday he'd like President Trump to reopen the federal government on a temporary basis to see whether a deal can be reached to fund the president's wall on the US-Mexico border and declare a national emergency if not.

Trump has kept Washington on edge over whether he would resort to such a declaration, citing what he says is a "crisis" of drug smuggling and the trafficking of women and children at the border.

"I think [Schumer] is dealing with the objective reality that his party will not tolerate working with Trump", Gingrich told Catsimatidis.

But most lawmakers left town last Friday and will not return before Monday, leaving little chance for any solution to the stalemate before then.

The impasse has paralyzed Washington - its impact felt increasingly around the country - with the president refusing to sign off on budgets for swaths of government departments unrelated to the dispute. Some 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the ongoing partial shutdown, missing their paycheck on Friday.

The shutdown on Saturday exceeded the 1995-1996 funding lapse, when Democrat Bill Clinton was president and Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House.

Graham has been among the most outspoken Republicans pushing Trump to use his authority to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build the wall by tapping unspent money sitting in various government accounts, including for military construction and disaster relief.

"I'm not surprised he is where he is right now, I just think it's really bad for the country. I will declare a national emergency", Trump said.

"If they can't do it. I have the absolute right", he said.

Trump has said he prefers giving Congress more time to work out a deal before pulling the trigger on such a declaration.

But the South Carolina Republican tells "Fox News Sunday" that Trump wants a deal first. "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".

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Opponents say such a unilateral presidential move would be constitutional overreach and set a unsafe precedent.

In the Democrats' weekly address, Representative Scott Peters, who represents a district in San Diego County, California, outlined border security measures such as radar and surveillance via drones, and said "let's re-open the government and talk about these ideas".

U.S. media report the White House is considering diverting some of the $13.9bn allocated a year ago by Congress for disaster relief in such areas as Puerto Rico, Texas and California to pay for the wall. "The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE". "I do have a plan on the Shutdown".

Milstead, calling Arizona one of the "front doors for narcotics coming into America", said the state will "take all the help we can get from Washington".

He noted though that the way things have unfolded seem to contradict Trump's vows to do politics differently from how things in Washington are traditionally handled.

For the president, who visited the Texas border with Mexico on Thursday, the border situation amounts to an invasion by criminals.

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".

Some studies show that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than people born in the United States. Party leaders say they won't agree to fund any kind of wall or barrier between the USA and Mexico beyond what's already in place, and Trump insists he won't agree to reopen the government until the wall is funded.

"We need to look at the facts", she said.

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through the U.S. territory in the Caribbean, killing some 3,000 people, causing catastrophic material damage and crippling the island's power grid.

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